Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Traffic Jam

I heard on the news yesterday morning that Obama will be visiting LA for a fundraiser at 4pm. My first reaction was, "Ooh, traffic is going to be crazy." Second reaction was, "Fundraiser? Can't he do this on the weekend or something?!" Obama is a smart guy. If I thought about this, he probably did too... and chose to ignore the burden his trip would impose on thousands of people.

Los Angeles Times
The massive traffic jam that resulted from President Obama's motorcade and speech Monday night in Hancock Park is prompting calls for an investigation from some residents, who say they were caught in traffic for hours.

Obama was only in L.A. for a few hours, but his presence caused numerous streets to be blocked off.

Residents reported that commutes and errands that typically took minutes turned into hours-long ordeals. One particular complaint was that streets remained blocked for hours -- even when Obama was inside TV producer John Wells' Hancock Park home at a fund-raiser.

I read through some of the comments and it seems that the inappropriate timing was compounded by incompetent planning and communications. Why did they have to keep all these streets closed while he was inside having dinner?

Also, the fundraiser for DNC was supposed to raise $1M from (wealthy) attendees. Air Force One costs ~$57k per hour to operate... so the 10 hour round trip from Washington DC to LA would have cost ~$570k. Add all the LAPD overtime and thousands of people stuck in traffic for hours, the economic cost of this partisan fundraiser probably is greater than the amount raised. That's an efficient use of resources. And how come no far-left liberal is complaining about the carbon footprint of flying a 747 coast-to-coast and having thousands of cars idling in gridlock while Obama eats dinner?

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