Obama Arrives in L.A.: Prepare for Lots of Gridlock (Updated)

Presidential fundraisers at the Sony lot and Tavern restaurant in Brentwood have prompted street closures along the Westside

(Updated, 5:38 p.m. PST)

The Presidential motorcade has arrived at Sony in Culver City for one in a series of area fundraisers on Thursday. Various streets in West L.A. were closed for the procession, including Santa Monica Boulevard, Olympic Boulevard and Pico Boulevard, but according to reports, they were reopened 15 seconds after the motorcade transporting President Barack Obama passed by.

(Updated, 5:07 p.m. PST)

A series of fundraisers for President Barack Obama are scheduled to begin shortly at Sony Pictures Studio, and traffic headaches have already become severe. 

NBC-LA is reporting massive delays on  I-405 and I-10, but still no word on what streets in the Culver City area are closed down. 

(Updated, 4:08 p.m. PST)

Protestors are lining up outside the Sony Studio in Culver City, KCAL-TV reports.

Demonstrators are reportedly criticizing the president for his inaction on immigration reform and for failing to label the Ottoman killing of Armenians a century ago a "genocide." Protestors were also voicing their discontent with the TARP program. 

The president's fundraiser on the lot is scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m.

(Updated, 2:30 p.m. PST)

President Barack Obama has touched down at LAX. He is expected to take a Marine One helicopter to his first stop at Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, KCAL-TV reports. 

He arrived in Los Angeles about 40 minutes earlier then expected. 

Also read: Obama's Got a Friend at Sony, Studio Leaders Big Donors in Past

No parking signs have been placed along Culver City's Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards in anticipation of the president's visit. Streets have already begun closing in Culver City and Brentwood. 

According to NBC LA, streets in Culver City that might be affected include Overland, Washington Boulevard, Culver Boulevard, Motor Avenue and all downtown Culver City streets.

In Brentwood, closures may happen on Barrington Avenue, Darlington Avenue, and San Vicente Boulevard.


With President Barack Obama sweeping into town Thursday afternoon for a series of big ticket fundraisers, Los Angeles is bracing for massive traffic delays.

Obama is scheduled to touch down at LAX around 2:45 p.m. before heading to Sony in Culver City for a fundraiser and later to dinner for donors at Tavern Restaurant in Brentwood.

This means that traffic for much of the Westside will be effectively closed down for large parts of the afternoon and evening, with motorists being advised to steer clear of the area or stay at home. 

Citing security concerns, Sony is closing the studio at 2 p.m.The studio gave employees information about alternate ways to get out of their parking lots in case of anti-Obama protests. If that happens, Culver City police have said close additional streets.

Also read: Obama's Tavern Dinner — What Will They Eat?

The Los Angeles Police Department and Secret Service declined to specify what roads would be shut down or if the president would travel via motorcade or helicopter, but transit services warned of delays and road closures on throughout the afternoon and evening.

Likewise, temporary flight restrictions are in place from Thursday afternoon until Friday morning, meaning that private pilots will not be able to fly into or out of Los Angeles International Airport, Santa Monica Airport and Hawthorne Municipal Airport.

Here's what we do know: Starting at 5:30 p.m., the president will host a fundraiser at Sony's studio commissary and Soundstage 30. He is scheduled to appear at the dinner for donors at Tavern Restaurant in Brentwood at 7:50 p.m.  

Anyone traveling on the Westside would be advised to keep that itinerary in mind. Here's a map of the route from Sony Pictures to Tavern (be warned!):

When the president came to town in August, he caused the most severe traffic jam in recent memory. While Democratic donors hung out with him at television producer John Wells’ house, many thousands of furious Los Angeles residents were stuck in traffic.

Also read: President Obama Owes Los Angeles a Big Apology

And when Vice President Joe Biden flew in for a Jay Leno appearance in July, LAX was effectively shut down for four hours on a Friday evening.

Twice chastened, however, the Obama administration went to great lengths to streamline the process when the president returned to the City of Angeles to stump for Democratic candidates last fall. In place of motorcades, the president travelled primarily by helicoptor. Though there were some delays, they were a distant echo of the traffic jams that snarled through the city in August. 

Even before the president hits the ground on Thursday afternoon, he will have had a full day of flesh pressing and photo ops. He will deliver remarks at a DNC event at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, California. 

Later in the morning, the President will travel to Reno, Nevada where he will participate in a town hall meeting about the deficit. He will leave Nevada and land at LAX at approximately 2:45 p.m. 

The president will spend the night in Los Angeles (location undisclosed) before leaving out of LAX at 9:00.

Just in time for rush hour.