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Heavy traffic expected in W.LA for Obama visit

President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting Fox Senior High School in Arnold, Mo., Wednesday, April 29, 2009. (Gerald Herbert)

April 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Brace yourself: we could be in for another traffic snarl Thursday.

Air Force One landed at LAX at 2:30 p.m. He will attend a fundraiser at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City that begins at 4:30 p.m. Obama is scheduled to speak at the fundraiser at about 6 p.m.

After the fundraiser in Culver City, Obama will attend a private fundraiser in Brentwood. Fundraisers in Southern California have generated millions for Obama's campaign.

Many people are excited for the visit, but they're still worried about the potential for gridlock. It's the frustrating downside to a presidential visit.

Obama's visit last August caused major gridlock on the Westside, stretching commutes that would normally take 45 minutes into several hours. In his next visit, the president used a helicopter for portions of his trip, which reduced some of the traffic congestion..

"They're saying that they're going to try and be a little more conscious and careful about it this time, but who knows," said Paul Smith of Culver City.

Local leaders are hoping better coordination with the Secret Service will minimize the traffic problems.

"They are sensitive to our needs, and my hope is the sensitivity will actually mean less gridlock," said Councilman Bill Rosendahl. "But you know, the Westside is gridlocked as it is."

Not everyone is up in arms about the president coming to town.

"I think it's an epic thing for a small community like this," said Mark Miller of Culver City. "I think it's historic.

The president is scheduled to depart from LAX at 9 a.m. Friday.