Substantial traffic delays expected with Obama visit

Parking restrictions, street closures of up to 30 minutes will affect residents and businesses on Wednesday

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President Obama's visit to Palo Alto on Wednesday (April 20) is expected to cause traffic delays and limit access to homes and businesses, Palo Alto police Chief Dennis Burns said Tuesday afternoon.

Obama is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco via Air Force One at 1 p.m., according to information released by the White House. Obama is then scheduled to take part in a "town hall" meeting entitled "Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity" from Facebook headquarters, 1050 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto. The meeting will be streamed live on Facebook.

Burns said the police department will send an alert about the traffic conditions through AlertSCC on Tuesday afternoon or evening.

Neighborhood businesses and residential areas will be impacted by the motorcade from about noon to 4 p.m., he said.

The area extends from Sand Hill Road to the north and Interstate 280 to the west, south to Page Mill Road and El Camino Real to the east. Road closures could be up to 30 minutes.

Residents and employees might have limited entry and egress to the areas for a short period of time, he said.

Motorists "can expect substantial delays and are encouraged to avoid the area," he said.

Palo Alto police expect to beef up staffing for the visit, Burns said. The department will be working with the California Highway Patrol, Secret Service, the Santa Clara County Sheriff and Menlo Park Police Department.

Officer Kenneth Dueker, Palo Alto's coordinator of Homeland Security and Public Outreach, said the city's new Mobile Emergency Operations Center will be used to coordinate efforts and help monitor security.

Burns recently spent a week in Washington, D.C., at a dignitary-protection seminar given by the Secret Service, which ensures the safety of the president, he said.

Although the seminar was not specifically for Obama's visit, Burns said it provided information about safety for all dignitaries and the workings of the service, he said.

People can watch the meeting with Obama on the White House Facebook page at 1:45 p.m., according to the White House. Obama will appear with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

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Like this comment
Posted by Never-Ending-Propaganda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm

> where Obama will hold a "town hall"

No mention how Palo Alto "towns people" can attend this meeting. And, given that more people working for Facebook live somewhere else, and many are probably not US citizens, or qualified voters, it's hard to believe that this Obama event will really be a "town meeting" in the classic American style.

No mention if the Palo Alto Police will be billing the White House for all of this "protection".

Obama is not from Texas .. but he is definitely "all hat" ..

Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I would think he would have something better to do as President this week than to come fundraise at Facebook. Perhaps the budget talks?

Like this comment
Posted by Al Norte sm
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm


The President actually outlined budget issues in a speech last week.
After you listen to the speech, I'm sure you'll agree the President is listening to real Americans; from today's papers:

"WASHINGTON � ...Americans are clear about how they want to attack the government's runway budget deficits: raise taxes on the wealthy and keep hands off of Medicare and Medicaid.

On tackling the deficit, voters by a margin of 2-to-1 support raising taxes on incomes above $250,000, with 64 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed.

Support for higher taxes rose by 5 percentage points after Obama called for that as one element of his deficit-reduction strategy last week. Opposition dropped by 6 points. The poll was conducted before and after the speech."

Read more: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I wonder just how much this costs Palo Alto. Every time Obama or Megedev come into town the City must pay some of our police officers overtime to provide added security. It'll be good when Facebook moves to Menlo Park then their police department can provide the security and Menlo Park can pay the overtime bill.

Like this comment
Posted by Never-Ending-Propaganda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by Waste of money
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

This is all about fundraising - Obama doing what he does best - campaigning. In the meantime, taxes may go to 100% and those of us who actually contribute to the GDP can just further help to level the playing field and share the "wealth". :( Obama supporters: don't complain when life as you've known it begins to crumble...

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

This trip is fund raising for his re election

All Palo Alto, security and transportation costs should be paid for by the DNC.

Palo Altans made it very clear last time that we do not want Obama back here disrupting traffic and costing us huge amounts.

Obama needs to learn to telecommute

what is the carbon foot print for this tin cup trip?

Like this comment
Posted by al norte sm
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm

"Palo Altans made it very clear last time that we do not want Obama back here "

I missed the demonstration, Sharon. Links to the pictures of the thousands that made it very clear, please. The hundreds? Dozens?

the half dozen?


btw: In PA, how badly did the President lose to McCain?

Like this comment
Posted by Svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Svatoid is a registered user.

Thanks for a good chuckle, sharon. You came across as expected. No proof for your claims. Just the usual anti-obama rhetoric. As al norte sm stated, please provide some proof that palo alto told obama not to come back, otherwise your claims cannot be taken seriously. BTW, I would read up on why obama is coming to palo alto-hint-it if not as you claim. Get back to us afterwards.

Like this comment
Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2011 at 4:25 am

rick is a registered user.

Wow. Comments come to a standstill when you have to log on. It's great that the President, any President, becomes familiar with Palo Alto. And the media that come with them. It's also a good exercise for the police department. Yes, maybe it costs a marginal extra, but it's cool to have "provided security for President of US" on one's resume. Employees do a better job when they feel they are doing something special. I expect the traffic disruption to be minimal, and 95% (or 99%) of Palo Altans won't even notice. It's a shame we can no longer have fun parades with people lining the street like I still remember when Charles de Gaulle was chauffered up Cowper. The new reality sank in with JFK a few years later, at least for my generation. But I guess it's always been thus, and always will be. Just as there will always be positive and negative people writing these PA Online comments. I won't be able to watch the live streaming (most of us do have day-jobs) but look forward to a synopsis. "Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity" could go many directions.

Like this comment
Posted by Evan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

Evan is a registered user.

To "Waste of money" — what are you talking about? Taxes have DECREASED under Obama. You know that 2% payroll tax cut you just got from the feds? Wait…maybe you don't. You're probably too busy yelling about taxes going up to look down at your paycheck.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:17 am

Chris Zaharias is a registered user.

I'm gonna tell my 12-year-old son to set up his Hawaiian Shaved Ice stand today. We know Obama loves shaved ice.

Like this comment
Posted by puffin
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:50 am

puffin is a registered user.

I am so thrilled that POTUS is coming to College Terrace. Why all the whiners? This brings energy, excitement. I just ran past the offices (11.45am) and there was no security, men in shades, or barriers. The "3-year-olds for Obama" had set up their lemonade stand on California Ave. Just another day in the neighborhood. This is GREAT!!

Like this comment
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

I thought that PA Online was going to send an update when they received the news from AlertSCC about road closures, etc. I signed up for AlertSCC last night and I have nothing. I can't believe that I live a few blocks from all the hub-bub and there has been no communication to residents about it. Well, yes, I guess I can believe it.

Like this comment
Posted by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

Sue Dremann is a registered user.

The information regarding road closures is in the above story. Chief Burns said this is about all of the information that would be given out. For security reasons, it would remain vague.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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