You ever have one of those days where every driving choice you make is the wrong one? You change lanes hoping to get ahead, but somehow end up farther behind than if you stayed in the same lane. It almost feels like you’re moving backwards. It’s been one of those mornings for me. You would think that I, more than anyone else, would know better than to get stuck in the Obama traffic nightmare.
Here’s my morning and how it went down. I had a doctor’s appointment in Beverly Hills at 9:30 a.m. (Don’t worry Mom, it was just an annual check-up.) I allowed 50 minutes to get there from the Marina. That should have been adequate. After all, it used to be that Friday morning traffic was light in Los Angeles.
Before leaving my home, I checked where the Obama Motorcade closures were so I could avoid any delays. I consulted with my bible — Sigalert.com — and knew to avoid the freeways. I was feeling pretty smug. I’m in the know. I know where to avoid the traffic hassles! Well, the traffic Gods were laughing at me, cackling really. As I headed East down Venice Blvd. past Overland, I suddenly encountered gridlock. The traffic all but stopped entirely. I sat for about 15 minutes moving maybe 50 feet. I’ve been fasting since the night before, which means I’m already a little cranky. I haven’t had my morning coffee and I’m hungry. I’m not a happy camper.
I then called KNX 1070 Traffic to report (and find out) what’s going on there. Yes, I have 1070 on speed dial. Next time you hear a traffic report, be sure to listen for them mentioning Tipster Marci. Come on folks — I live in my car. This is one of my important survival techniques. So, I was told that I was stuck because of the Obama motorcade. “No! That can’t be!” I declared. “I checked to see where he was going to be and avoided that area. He’s supposed to be in the Westwood/Century City area, not where I am!” I was told that we’re not always told exactly where he’ll be. So, at my first opportunity, I made a U turn and headed back towards Overland. I could take Pico across and avoid Century City. Good. It’s fine. A delay. I’ll be a little late, but now I’m moving along nicely. Then, suddenly, I see the sign. LANES CLOSED AHEAD.
Here I go again. As I’m listening to 1070, I hear the next traffic report. They talk about Obama and the road closures and then say, “By the way, it seems there’s road construction on Venice Blvd. heading East from Overland. It’s down to one lane. Avoid that area if you can.” I didn’t mention my name this time, so no Tipster Marci credited for this. I get through the Overland construction, head down Pico eastbound. I see multiple police vehicles parked along side Rancho Park (a sign that Obama is headed that way soon). Thankfully, I stayed ahead of the motorcade and got to my appointment about 15 minutes late.
So now, I’m at the doctors and declare that I think my blood pressure is going to be extremely high after that drive. The doctor asked why. I told him explaining that I write a blog about driving and I should have known better. He then asks me where the Obama closures are because he’s heading out of the office shortly and wants to avoid that area. I bring up my post and read it to him. He looked at me and said, “I think I’ll go home instead.” Yeah…
Appointment done. I picked up a large cappuccino on my way out of the doctor’s office building and I headed back home. (This place oddly has exceptionally good cappuccino.) This time, I take the freeway back — 10 to the 405. Mercifully, no driving issues. As I’m making that transition from the 10 to the 405 South, I see 3 military helicopters heading east in the sky with two F-15 fighters following behind. (Wish I could have gotten a picture of that!) I raised my coffee to the sky, leaned back in my seat and sailed home.