Dear Mr. Obama,
Those of us who live and work in Los Angeles understand and appreciate your desire to visit our fair city. We like it here, too, and we know you have lots of pals to attend to like HRH Clooney. But if your ears were ringing rather loudly Monday night between about 5:00 and 7:00 p.m., it wasn't the conservative outcry against your deal with Iran or the left demanding that you put an end to the Keystone pipeline.
Nope. It was sound of literally thousands of people experiencing massive gridlock as your motorcade breezed through the Westside without a care in the world whilst adding an average of 30 minutes to an hour to the already long and difficult commutes of thousands of Los Angeles residents.
Rush hour in LA begins in earnest at about 4:00. Earlier in some areas, but later in none. On several occasions, including this past Monday evening, your travel planners had you making your way to Beverly Hills from LAX between 5:00-6:00 p.m. The absolute HEART of rush hour here.
As we know, getting you from Point A to Point B is not a simple matter of planning a route and having the local police clear the way. For security reasons, several routes are planned and cordoned-off, the actual route you will take decided at the last minute to avoid any attempts on your person. Such precautions are necessary and understood. The problem is, closing off one route in our city during rush hour is a major disruption. Closing several all at the same time as this protocol demands, and at 5:00 in the evening in some of the most already congested areas o f LA, is an unmitigated CATASTROPHE.
Think of the people now unexpectedly stranded with no hope of moving forward or back. Leaving work after a long and tiring day. Hundreds have children to retrieve from daycare or after school programs. Some are on their way to night school or second jobs. Some have important functions to attend with school and volunteer groups. Elderly parents in need of assistance watch the clock. Dogs who have been locked away all day dance from one foot to the other in anticipation of relief. There are groceries to buy, dinners to prepare, diapers to change... you get the picture. All now late because the concept of avoiding rush hour in Los Angeles is meaningless to those who make your plans.
That, therefore, is the point of this communication to you on behalf of Los Angeles and all major metropolitan cities you choose to visit:
Mr. Obama, you are welcome to visit us any day and stay as long as you like, but PLEASE! NOT DURING RUSH HOUR(S)!!