President Obama Arrives in L.A. for 2-Day Visit, Creating Rush-Hour Traffic; Road Closures Go Into Effect

Hundreds of invited guests greeted President Barack Obama with applause at a star-studded event at the Los Angeles area home of television producer Shonda Rhimes on Wednesday after donating between $1,000 and $30,000 each.

President Obama arrived at LAX on July 23, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

President Obama arrived at LAX on July 23, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

But while some welcomed the president’s arrival, others were frustrated with the snarled traffic it created in areas that his motorcade went through.

The president arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon for a two-day visit to Southern California for a pair of fundraisers and a speech at a Los Angeles trade college.

Air Force One touched down at Los Angeles International Airport just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, and Obama was flown via Marine One to Los Angeles High School, and then driven to a Beverly Hills hotel just before 3:30 p.m., according to reporters traveling with the president.

Spectators lined the closed streets, snapping photos as the motorcade passed.

But for many, the motorcade created an abundance of traffic problems, and some motorists expressed frustration at the streets being blocked off during rush hour.

“I think with a president like Obama, anything is hard to get around,” an unidentified male driver told KTLA.

Others, however, were thrilled that the president was visiting the area.

“We love our president. This is the fourth time or fifth time he’s come to the Hancock Park area,” Raj Vora said.

Obama arrived at a private Democratic National Committee event at Rhimes’ Hancock Park home at about 5 p.m. About 450 people were at the fundraiser, which was co-hosted by actress Kerry Washington, the star of Rhimes’ television show “Scandal.”

“This was a phenomenal event,” one woman who attended the event said.

The president was expected remain in town overnight, according to the White House.

On Thursday, the president was set to attend another private DNC fundraiser at an L.A. home and then speak on the economy at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College south of downtown Los Angeles at a 1:15 p.m. event.

His departure from LAX was expected about 3 p.m. Thursday.

The Los Angeles Police Department issue a traffic advisory for the visit, saying the following areas should be avoided because of travel delays:

Wednesday

  • The area around La Brea Avenue and West Olympic Boulevard from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • The area around Beverly Boulevard and North Doheny Drive from 9 a.m.
    to 4 p.m.
  • The area around West Third Street and Rossmore Avenue from 4 to
    8 p.m.
  • The area around Beverly Boulevard and North Doheny Drive from 6
    to 8 p.m.
  • BUS STOP: Olympic Boulevard / Rimpau Boulevard; ROUTES: MTA 28, 728; 1 to 3 p.m.
  • BUS STOP: Fourth Street; ROUTES: MTA 16, 210; 4 to 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, there will be hard street closures along Rimpau Boulevard between Edgewood Place and Olympic Boulevard, and Olympic Boulevard between Rimpau Boulevard and West Boulevard, according to LAPD.

Thursday

  • The area around Beverly Boulevard and North Doheny Drive from 4 a.m.
    to 5 p.m.
  • The area around Sunset Boulevard and Mandeville Canyon Road from 9 to 11 a.m.
  • The area around Sunset Boulevard and Barrington Avenue from 10 a.m.
    to noon
  • The area around Grand Avenue and West Washington Boulevard from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The area around Figueroa Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from 1 to 3 p.m.
  • BUS STOP: Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; ROUTES: MTA 40; 1 to 3 p.m.
  • BUS STOP: Figueroa Street; ROUTES: MTA 81; 1 to 3 p.m.
  • BUS STOP: Washington Boulevard; ROUTES: MTA 35, 910; 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • BUS STOP: Flower Street; ROUTES: Montebello 50; 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • BUS STOP: Grand Avenue; ROUTES: Montebello 50; 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

On Thursday, there will be hard street closures along West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Hoover Street and South Figueroa Street, Figueroa Street between Exposition Park Drive and West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and West Washington Boulevard between South Flower and Grand Avenue, LAPD stated. South Flower Street between West Washington Boulevard and West 23rd Street, South Grand Avenue between West Washington Boulevard and West 23rd Street will also be affected by hard closures.

Police advise public transit riders to contact Metro for alternate locations.

The president’s visit comes amid a West Coast tour that started in Seattle Tuesday and included a stop in San Francisco.

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KTLA’s Tracy Bloom contributed to this report.