Update: Side-line information from left-wing group press officer after the break.
Update: Street protests happening now from left-wing group outside Obama's first stop at the House of Blues Sunset. Also, updates on traffic and street closures after the jump.
Calm down Tea Partiers. Obamaggedon does not mean the end of Obama as president.
It means that Mr. President's visit to West Hollywood and surrounding areas on September 26 could mean street closures and significant delays. Last time Obama was in town at USC, closures of Exposition Boulevard, Vermont Avenue, Figueroa lasted for several hours.
This time could be just as bad.
Peter Nichols of melroseaction.com says that Sunset and La Cienega Boulevards will be shut down. Melrose Place and Santa Monica Boulevard also have a chance of being closed down some time in between Obama's visit to House of Blues Sunset and Fig and Olive Restaurant.
Here is a precise list of the street closures from West Hollywood Sheriff's Department:
- Sunset Boulevard (from Doheny Drive to Sweetzer Avenue)
- Santa Monica Boulevard (from Doheny Drive to La Cienega Boulevard)
- Olive Drive (from Sunset Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard)
- Holloway Drive (front Sunset Boulevard to La Cienega Boulevard)
- La Cienega Boulevard (from Sunset Boulevard to Rosewood Avenue)
- Fountain Avenue (from La Cienega Boulevard to Sweetzer Avenue)
- Delongpre Avenue (from Fountain Avenue to Flores Street)
Consensus: If you normally travel through WeHo on your way home heading east, stay as far south as Beverly Boulevard until you reach Fairfax. If going west, stay south on Beverly, or Wilshire, until you hook up with Santa Monica.
details times are being withheld for security reasons.
What is certain, is that there will be significant traffic delays during the President's rush-hour sojourn.
“The closures are right through the heart of some of the most hellish traffic in the area,” says Nichols. “This could be a huge disruption.”
The WeHo Daily reports that Obama's first engagement at House of Blues is at 4:30 p.m. The second event at Fig and Olive is at 6 p.m. So the solution is pretty simple, stay home or reroute your commute south if you take La Cienega through West Hollywood.
And now, the left-wing group Answer Coalition is taking advantage of the president's visit and protesting the on-going war in Afghanistan and cuts to Social Security. The group is also protesting the death penalty, deportations, and pretty much every liberal issue they can voice during the motorcade and outside of events.
The coalition's message: “The attacks from the super-rich and their representatives in Washington give us only one option–to fight back.”
Ian Thompson of Answer Coalition, who is currently at the protest, said that hundreds of people are out picketing and chanting outside the House of Blues on Sunset. Signs that read “Funding for jobs and education, not for war” and “No war for Oil” fill the streets.
There are drum and guitar circles with students, union workers, and locals. Thompson says that he has not, nor has not heard of anyone getting a glimpse of Obama.
And please plankers, this is the President of the United States, not a freeway construction project, stay off the roads. The secret service might have no qualms treating you like a real plank of wood.