Obama Traffic, the Valley Edition! Starring George Clooney's Studio City Mansion
L.A. is good to Obama.
Updated at the bottom with all known street closures. (See also: "Obama Totally Screws Up Gay Activists' Plans to Protest His L.A. Visit Tomorrow.")
Originally posted May 9 at 9:15 a.m.
We might as well get used to President Obama making campaign stops in Los Angeles. His most moneyed and important donors are based in Hollywood -- important, because nothing wins the hip liberal vote like a brush with a Best Actor nominee, except maybe slow-jammin' the news -- and we all know he has a thing for Roscoe's.
But you can't stop Los Angeles from talking about traffic. And the president's visit tomorrow, rumored to rake in a record-breaking $12 million, won't be the same-old Santa Monica Boulevard Obamajam of fundraisers past:
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After arriving at LAX sometime during the 6 p.m. hour, Obama will be transported into the yet-unexplored residential Valley territory surrounding George Clooney's Studio City mansion.
Clooney reportedly lives off Laurel Canyon Boulevard near Wilacre Park, somewhere in this general area:
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For the president's safety, his people can't reveal how he'll arrive. If it's by helicopter, we're pretty much in the clear, but if there's a motorcade involved, Valley commuters will have one hell of a time clearing the Hills. LA Observed's Kevin Roderick speculates that...
... There are plenty of parks, golf courses, schools and other places to land a copter in the area, and thus avoid a big cross-town disruption. On the Westside recent Obama visits have utilized parks in Cheviot Hills and Brentwood. So it wouldn't surprise me if he flies to the Valley. But will he be staying back in Beverly Hills, as usual?
Roderick also dug up this CBS tour of Clooney's mansion -- which is, predictably, an Esquire dream pad of rustic stones and dark woods. Behold, the Democrat-Media-Complex hard at work:
"We're working very closely with the Secret Service to make sure that everything's done safely, and that [Obama] gets in and out with as little impact to the community as possible," LAPD Commander Andy Smith told KNX news radio this morning. (You can listen to the station tomorrow, at AM 1070, for constant traffic updates.)
Smith said that during a typical Obamajam, the LAPD receives "a thousand phone calls from irate motorists."
But the LA Daily News interviewed some of Clooney's neighbors, and they seem much more thrilled at the spectacle than worried about traffic. Military helicopters and "trucks filled with party supplies" have been all up in the neighborhood since Monday, says resident Fiona Hutton. Oh you fancy, huh!
Update: L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian went on KNX news radio this morning and shared the little he knew about where to avoid, and when.
Between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., closures and delays are expected along Laurel Canyon Boulevard and on the smaller streets north of Ventura Boulevard.
Between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Laurel Canyon will be fully sealed off (except for residents who can show ID) south of Ventura Boulevard.
The president will spend the night in Beverly Hills, so there could also be nighttime closures along Santa Monica Boulevard, unless he takes a helicopter.
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