Presidential Visit Causes Traffic Headache - NBC Southern California

Presidential Visit Causes Traffic Headache

The president took Marine One from the Westside to LAX Tuesday when he departed for Seattle



    Drivers abandoned their cars, yelled at police officers and fumed as traffic ground to a halt in parts of Los Angeles for a presidential visit.

    LADOT: Traffic Information, Maps
    President Barack Obama held a fundraiser at a TV producer's home in the Hancock Park neighborhood Monday night. Street closures meant some commuters were stuck in traffic for hours.

    Some streets near the home were even closed to pedestrians.  Carlos Garcia said he went for a run just as the area was locked  down and found himself waiting 25 minutes at a yellow police tape barrier to get back home.

    But it took the President just 10 minutes to make drive to his fundraiser in Hancock Park from LAX.

    Presidential Visit Ties Up Traffic

    [LA] Presidential Visit Ties Up Traffic
    Motorists were fuming Monday evening.
    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010)

    Street closures were in effect for most of Monday afternoon.

    "I got off work at 5 p.m.," a driver told NBCLA. "I work right near Fairfax. It's 7 o'clock. I'm running low on gas."

    A motorcade left the area at 8 p.m. and police say they reopened  their barricades 15 minutes later. LAist captured a screengrab of the traffic map that showed the many red lines representing congestion along the route.

    "Everyone on the bus was pretty calm, until we got to that barricade and they started turning down the side road," a bus passenger told NBCLA.

    The president left Beverly Hills for LAX -- in Marine One -- early Tuesday. Air Force One departed at about 9 a.m.

    Obama is scheduled to visit Seattle Tuesday as part of his five-state trip.

    Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

    About the Fundraiser

    The fundraiser at the home of television producer John Wells raised $1  million for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the official  campaign arm of Democrats in the House of Representatives, organizers said.

    Tickets were $2,500 per person for a cocktail reception. The cost to be  a co-host was $30,400 per couple, which included the cocktail reception, a  photo with Obama and a co-host dinner.

    Co-hosts for what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, called  "a very, very successful event" included director Steven Spielberg,  entertainer Barbra Streisand, DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer  Jeffrey Katzenberg, producer-director J.J. Abrams, Warner Bros. Entertainment  President and Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn and Tom Unterman, founding  partner of the Santa Monica-based venture capital firm Rustic Canyon Partners.

    Streisand and Katzenberg did not attend the event.

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was among the crowd, drawing a quip from  Obama -- ``we're not letting him on a bicycle any time soon'' -- a reference to  his recent accident that left him with a broken elbow.

    Others attending included filmmaker Judd Apatow, Labor Secretary Hilda  Solis, Reps. Howard Berman, Brad Sherman, Judy Chu and Laura Richardson, and  Assemblywoman Karen Bass, heavily favored to be elected to the House in  November, representing the district which includes Hancock Park.

    This was Obama's fourth trip to the Southland since taking office, the  last three of which have been exclusively for political fundraising.