President's fundraisers and 'Ellen' taping bring Obamajam fears but little traffic

As President Obama swings through Southern California this week for political fundraisers and an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime TV show, motorists in Los Angeles braced for heavier-than-usual traffic that never materialized.

Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday afternoon after attending fundraisers in the Bay Area. He arrived for his taping of “Ellen” in Burbank. The interview will air Friday.

Along the presidential motorcade, sidewalks and corners were dotted with groups of onlookers, most with smartphones out, and one with a "We [heart] Obama" sign. As he headed from his final fundraising event in Hancock Park to his hotel room to retire for the night, handfuls of Angelenos waited along Crenshaw Boulevard for the motorcade to pass.

Earlier in the day after taping "Ellen," the president landed on the football field at Los Angeles High School at 6 p.m., right before the Democratic presidential debate began. He was headed for fundraisers in Hancock Park organized by the Democratic National Committee.

The president talked about his to-do list and campaign promises and said he had achieved 80% of what he set out to do. He referenced Los Angeles in talking about the work still left undone. "Right now as we speak there are children in this city who have no place to sleep," he said.

After spending the night in L.A., Obama will decamp Friday to the Coachella Valley, traveling to Palm Springs and later Rancho Mirage. There he’ll host leaders from Southeast Asia for a two-day summit starting Monday at Sunnylands, the 200-acre estate formerly owned by the Annenberg family.

Read our interview with President Obama >>

On Thursday, several roads across L.A. County will be shut down for the presidential visit, according to the Los Angeles Police Department: 

  • At LAX, both directions of Sepulveda Boulevard between Lincoln and Century boulevards will be closed for about eight minutes between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • In Mid-Wilshire near Los Angeles High School, South Rimpau Boulevard near West Olympic Boulevard will be closed for an hour starting at 3 p.m.
  • In Burbank, Olive Avenue between North Pass Avenue and Hollywood Way will be closed from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • In Hancock Park, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., two roads will close: South Rossmore Avenue between 3rd Street and Wilshire Boulevard, and 6th Street between South Muirfield Road and South Arden Boulevard.
  • Also in Hancock Park, from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., South Windsor Boulevard will close between 2nd Street and 5th Street, and 3rd Street between Plymouth and Lorraine boulevards will also close.

The LAPD also provided a list of roads to avoid:

Thursday

The area around North Hollywood Way between North San Fernando Boulevard and Forest Lawn Drive from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

The area around North Hollywood Way between Forest Lawn Drive and North San Fernando Boulevard from 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

The area around Rimpau Boulevard between West Pico Boulevard and West 6th Street from 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The area around Wilshire Boulevard between South Hudson Avenue and South Arden Boulevard from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The area around West 4th Street between South Muirfield Road and Lorraine Boulevard from 7:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

The area around Crenshaw Boulevard between Wilshire Boulevard and West Adams Boulevard from 8:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The area around Wilshire Boulevard between the 405 Freeway and Malcolm Ave from 8:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 

Friday

The area around Wilshire Boulevard between the Westwood Village area and the 405 Freeway from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The area around South Bundy Drive between Ocean Park Boulevard and the 10 Freeway from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Here are some maps of the closures from KTLA-TV Channel 5.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

2:40 p.m.: This article was updated to change headline and story to make clear the Obama visit did not general major gridlock.

10 p.m.: This article was updated with additional context. 

5:20 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details about President's Obama's arrival in Los Angeles.

3:42 p.m.: This article was updated with President Obama arriving at LAX.

12:18 p.m.: This article was updated with links to maps.

This article was originally published at 3 a.m.

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