Lock down: Street closures, restrictions for Obama visit

photophile-obamaCandidate Obama at the Pavilion in 2008.
FILE PHOTO BY TOM DALY

The last time Barack Obama came to the Pavilion on the Downtown Mall he set an attendance record for the facility. And he was just a candidate for President.  This time, as President, his visit could turn the Downtown Mall upside down.

(The County has also issued traffic advisory concerning the President's route from the airport to the Downtown Mall.  The information is at the bottom of this post)

Indeed, as the following list of street closures and restrictions indicate, it's going to be a challenge to get to see the President (Arrive early!).

Several streets will be closed during the visit, and pedestrian and vehicle access may be restricted to accommodate the security needs of the Secret Service. The majority of closures will occur between 6:30pm and 9pm. Most notably, the area typically used for Pavilion events by pedestrians will be closed at 2pm.

news-belmontbridgeBelmont Bridge will be closed from 6:30-9:00pm. Closures: aerial; map.
FILE PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

Beginning at Noon tomorrow, the following roads will be closed and parking will not be permitted on them (they will re-open at 9pm): 7th Street/8th Street south of Market Street surrounding the City Hall Annex and 4th Street between Market Street and Water Street.

From 6:30pm to 9pm the following roads will be closed to traffic and parking (and most pedestrians):

Water Street–-10th Street to just east of the parking lot entrance on the south side of Market Street east of 5th Street SE.

Market Street–-7th Street to 9th Street will be closed to vehicle but remain open to pedestrians.

8th Street NE–-East Jefferson Street to Market Street

9th Street/Avon Street (Belmont Bridge)–-Garrett Street to Market Street

10th Street–-Market Street to Water Street

Old Avon Street–-East South Street to end (goes under Belmont Bridge)

In addition to those above, there are more restrictions:

Water Street (both sides)–-Belmont Bridge to 100 feet east of stair case to Lexis parking deck will be closed all day Friday

Lot under Belmont Bridge will be closed from 6:30pm to 9pm

East High Street–Lexington Avenue to 250 Bypass will be closed from 5pm to 9pm.

Market Street between 7th Street NE and 8th Street NE will be closed from Noon to 4:30pm. Voter registration only, 4:30pm to 9pm. No parking.

7th Street NE (west side)–-4 spaces north of Market Street closed.

Detour Routes:
Current detour on Water Street will be removed by noon on Friday allowing 2-way traffic to resume between 2nd Street SE and 2nd Street SW

Two detours will be available for those wanting to cross Belmont Bridge. Southbound traffic on 9th Street will go to Market Street, Carlton Road, and Monticello Avenue. Northbound traffic on Avon Street will go to Garrett Street, 2nd Street SE, Water Street, Ridge-McIntire Street, Market Street, 7th Street NE and High Street.

Other restrictions:
Bus service around the City will stop at 6:45pm and resume at 8:45pm.

No signs in Pavilion allowed. You'll be asked to throw them away. Basically, as you line up to enter the Pavilion prepare to be searched by Secret Service agents like you would at the airport.

The Downtown Doggie Howl-O-Ween event will be postponed to Saturday, October 30 from 6pm to 8:30pm.

County traffic advisory:

Based on information confirmed late this afternoon by the White House press office, we are revising our traffic advisory to extend the hours of potential impact to include from 6:00 pm until 9:15 pm and are strongly encouraging motorists to avoid the Route 29 area entirely during that timeframe as extended closures of Route 29 including intersections and adjacent roads will be occurring.

While we are not able to disclose exact route information related to President Obama’s visit to our community tomorrow due to security concerns, we want to inform the public that we anticipate road and intersection closures along the Route 29 corridor from Charlottesville Albemarle airport into downtown Charlottesville in the timeframe between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm as the Presidential party arrives at and departs from the airport. Because the situation is fluid and the route and timing of the motorcade could change at any point, motorists should anticipate that travel on, across and in the vicinity of Route 29 will be very problematic during that three hour period and should avoid that area as much as possible. Anyone planning to drive in that area during the affected time frame should expect significant delays and should take extended closures into account as they are making their plans. We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation as we work to provide a safe and welcoming environment for President Obama’s visit.

Read more on: barack obama

79 comments

I can see a mass migration from UVA to the downtown mall. Not a good evening to be in Cville I'm sure, it's gonna be really crowded!

Wondering what the pundits think - is Obama's visit going to help or hurt Perriello ?

Update: the County has also issued traffic advisory concerning the President’s route from the airport to the Downtown Mall.

County traffic advisory:

Based on information confirmed late this afternoon by the White House press office, we are revising our traffic advisory to extend the hours of potential impact to include from 6:00 pm until 9:15 pm and are strongly encouraging motorists to avoid the Route 29 area entirely during that timeframe as extended closures of Route 29 including intersections and adjacent roads will be occurring.

While we are not able to disclose exact route information related to President Obama’s visit to our community tomorrow due to security concerns, we want to inform the public that we anticipate road and intersection closures along the Route 29 corridor from Charlottesville Albemarle airport into downtown Charlottesville in the timeframe between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm as the Presidential party arrives at and departs from the airport. Because the situation is fluid and the route and timing of the motorcade could change at any point, motorists should anticipate that travel on, across and in the vicinity of Route 29 will be very problematic during that three hour period and should avoid that area as much as possible. Anyone planning to drive in that area during the affected time frame should expect significant delays and should take extended closures into account as they are making their plans. We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation as we work to provide a safe and welcoming environment for President Obama’s visit.

All I hope to get a glimpse of is the Dillon Aero gunship in the motorcade! :)

i had thought about voting for perriello but after this, i will cast my vote for hurt. what a waste of albemarle county and city of charlottesville tax money! perriello should step up with some of his campaign funds to cover all the expenses the county and city are facing since this is being done to help him win. why should taxpayers pay for his support? as for o-boo-boo, he should stay in dc and do his job. if he worked for a major corporation, he'd be fired if he only got a 40-50 out of 100 points on his evaluation - that's a failing grade by anybody's standards.

One of the city schools canceled a dance because of "traffic concerns". I believe it is because it would look like a dance at STAB.

Yeah I would think Perriello already has Charlottesville, but maybe they're just ensuring the Democrat voters are enthused enough to get out and vote on Tuesday.

I wasn't going to bother to vote Tuesday, cause I am sick and tired of paying the poll tax us Republicans have to pay here in the People's Republic. But, I am darn sure I am going now to vote for Hurt, even though I hate Hampden-Sydney grads. Obama is screwing over all of the downtown businesses, and commuters trying to get home. It is going to be the freak show of all time at the Pavillion, I can't wait to see it. Looks like Perriello will have to find himself a real job for the first time in his life. I hope my one vote wins it for Hurt, and it is all because of this Obama visit. Thank god Governor Kaine gave me my voting rights back.

Is there a suggested parking site? Will there be shuttles to and from the parking?

go Perriello. What a great article. Shows the tremendous support and enthusiasm for Perriello, the real local Virginia candidate. Come Tuesday a landside victory.

I bet there won't be people getting hurt at this event like we have seen lately at events by the other side.

Hey, this is better than the Dogwood Festival! The streets will be overwhelmed, joyous--and due to outside agitators, fractious. I am a moderate, and will go out with a smile and jokes to calm down rowdies. But Nancy Drew asks the right question. Sure Obama will energize Charlottesville--but everybody here was already going to vote for Perriello. There is a huge swath of people south all the way to the North Carolina border who might ordinarily have better things to do in a mid-term election than leave their jobs or double-wides and drive their pick-ups to a polling station. Right now the spread is one percent--within the margin of error. Less than the usual protest vote for Donald Duck (or in this case, Clark). Could go either way. My bet is Obama's visit will backfire and the freshly reminded furious, indignant bib-overall vote to our south will swell to a five percent Hurt victory.

Obama is doing what he does best, preaching to the choir, campaigning rather than governing, and courting adulation rather than accomplishing something. Perriello will lose Tues, but he may well be the next Governor.

Hey Block, your prejudices are showing. I grew south of The Magic Mountain that is Cville and UVA and I have a doctorate from a better school than The University, but I have worked in bib overalls and coveralls and still do when I'm producing food or getting up a load of wood in my pickup truck. I don't live in a doublewide, but what if I did? I might still be able to outthink someone who relies on stereotypes to (think they) know what is going south of them or anywhere for that matter.

Hey Morris Shifflett were your sister and uncle lovers????

You have to admire president Obama, Now a black man is "the man"

@periello lost... I know, right? If tha prez worked for a corporation, like, say: Halliburton, he might be expected to live up to some standard of behavior. Be, like, "self-regulating"?

I hope it's not trash pickup day on the mall, might cause a mix-up
on what to toss in the truck
Hey Big Block Party.....you stay classy little one

Bike to Obama

Several informal bike ride join-up locations are listed below so that those who wish to, may bike together to see President Obama, who will be appearing at the Charlottesville Pavilion, located in historic Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, at 235 West Main Street, on Friday, October 29, 2010. Gates will open at 5:00 PM.

Groups will form and depart at 4:00 PM. Although no leader will be designated, groups are encouraged to adhere to all traffic safety rules. Everyone (even Republicans) are welcome to join these moderate-paced ride groups and attend the event at the Charlottesville Pavilion. No tickets are required for admission. As is typical, airport-like security will be in place, so bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the Pavilion. Cameras are welcome.

Group One: Crozet, Mountain View Park and Ride on Crozet Ave. Turn right onto Route 240, Three Notched Road. Continue onto Route 250, Ivy Road. Ivy turns into University Avenue in Charlottesville, then merges with West Main Street.

Group Two: Route 29: Meet at Peace Lutheran Church, 1510 Broad Crossing. US Route 29 heading southbound. After entering Hooville, take Route 250 East By-pass. Travel 1.8 miles to McIntire Road. Right on McIntire Road and travel .9 miles to the light at the top of the hill, turn left onto Water Street. Proceed down the hill, and turn right at the first light (Second Street SE). Cross Water Street and one block north to the Downtown Mall which is Main Street. Turn right onto the pedestrian Mall and the Pavilion is located at the east end of the Mall, just past City Hall.

Group Three: Pantops Shopping Center Park and Ride. Left onto Richmond Road (250 By-pass), then Left onto East High Street, Left on 4th Street NE, Left on East Main Street.

Group Four: UVA John Paul Jones Arena, 295 Massie Road. Right onto North Emmet Street, then Left onto University Avenue, then onto West Main to East Main Street.

Other rides will be formed on an ad hoc basis based on local neighborhood interest. Encourage your friends and neighbors to bike to see Obama on Friday, October 29, 2010. Have fun, bike safely and enjoy a crisp autumn bike ride.

Feel free to share this via group emails and blogs. J. Tyler Ballance.

I. P. Freeley he has no skills to even get a real job where his arms don't have strings atached.

This weary commuter will being taking Friday off. Y'all have fun at your hootenanny.

As a republican I will say that it's Obama's right to come and support his lackeys on whatever dime he chooses, I can't cite examples but all presidents have done it, both sides of the line. The white house would be wise to accept the offer of some payment from the local supporters though, as it is clearly not in the interest of the country.

@periello lost my vote:
Periello's campaign has offered to help with costs so get your facts straight before spouting off.
http://www.nbc29.com/story/13404310/who-pays-for-presidential-visit

This is sickening. All the folks that have to suffer for this unneccessary visit. Prime example of misuse of American Taxpayer's money.. Just how much does this trip cost us?

Sorry Cville but bad news times two. Perriello is stuck at 44% and money is check day for the base. After the check comes there are deals to be made so that that food stamps become cash and then the rest of the week is party time. Due to this inconvenient truth the base wont be too interested in the election as they did not get the car, gas, or free boom box they were promised when brother loves traveling salvation show last came to town in 2008. Sorry but true!

I voted for both Obama and Tom, but this trip is sickening. How can Periello's people pay for this? Hasn't he raised a little more a than a million. Every damn day I get something in the mail or someone calls and interrupts my dinner which costs money.... Every game I watch there is an ad...Every time I turn on the radio there are multiple ads... This trip must cost hundreds of thousands of bucks? Right? Where is that money coming from to pay for the trip? Anyone that gives money to a campaign might as well drive to a casino and play a hand of blackjack with it. You'd get a better return on your investment, that is for sure...

Ken Jamme - get it right, he's only HALF black...his mother was white...so he can only be HALF the man.

Correction on earlier post as Monday, November 1, is national check day and this will affect the Perriello turn out.

To clarify I am not a Hurt supporter and would not vote for him as he like Perriello aspires to be a professional pol and not a servant of the people.

Wog: You are right and wrong. Right that bib-overall vote is a stereotype. Wrong, if you think politics isn't about stereotypes. "Obama = the black vote." "Gun control = angry white males." "Jon Stewart = the youth vote." "Soccer moms" "Flyover country." And so forth. Tocqueville warned of this vice of the egalitarian era: the inescapable need to think in over-simplified groups, and "general ideas." You may have gone to a better school but I read better stuff.

Come on, people. We're all more alike than not. Enough of the derisiveness. Sure, our country has it's problems and there are people who are really struggling, but you don't have to look far around the world to know that we are lucky to live in the good ol' USA.

In a country with such a large population, we can't all see eye to eye and no President or political party will ever satisfy a significant majority, but let's spend less time whining and more time digging deep to improve our own lives and our communities. And appreciating that our hut wasn't just destroyed by a Tsunami.

If you still have negative energy to burn, how about we focus on our common enemy...the stinkbug.

@Earlysville - Except that cancer research isn't actually trying to cure anything. It's an *industry* designed to keep people employed. And it has, for decades, and will continue to do so for decades to come. I thought people realized this by now. Those powers that be already know how to "cure" cancer. But they don't provide the technology (and I'm not talking about chemo) to the average riff raff because to them it's a good thing if people die. Population control. How many centuries does "cancer research" have to go on for before people begin finally catch on?

It's off topic, but, that needed to be said in lieu of your comment that the money would have been better spent towards cancer research, when in fact that's throwing it away as well.

After poring over these exchanges with building excitement, I can't believe how much I have yet to understand about this world, notably with regards to the political arena. It's exciting to hear so many wonderful, well-reasoned perspectives in this vein. For example, I was unaware of the strong solidarity of this nation. I'm surprised people don't disagree on things. Also, I neglected to realize the malice Obama intended when he chose to blatantly disrupt Downtown business. How selfish of him. It makes me wonder if business will decrease throughout the day leading up to it...it seems like having 5,000 people down there can only hurt things. Ditto for surrounding areas. And the potential two hour traffic disturbance is beyond reproach. That's exponentially longer than normal. And to think he does this every weekend! It's almost awkward he keeps returning.

I wonder, also, if this obscene scenario happens elsewhere in other ravaged towns, or if alternate party candidates do this type of extreme and intentional, spiteful damage. I suppose if they did, they would at least give the crowd an honest, eloquent speech without the use of teleprompters, and certainly without pandering or rhetoric. Perhaps follow that up with a triple execution of the Dixie Chicks, as it is a rally. Play "Landslide" during and after.

A side note: Obama is black? Can someone provide a picture to verify this? If so, it seems highly likely that he is a resident of some other country. Probably an African protectorate. There are no natural born American blacks. It seems impossible...are there even minorities or females who have rights in America? Inconceivable.

I have also learned that poor people without jobs seem to like to engage in voting activities that ensure they stay poor and jobless. This makes sense, as change can be frightening. Also sensible, and admirable, is the notion that we must divide this country and reinforce its stereotypes before we can fix it. Create a familial sense of hatred and disunity. I am no mathematician, but this route seems sound: how can we possibly achieve anything if we don't hate the other person based on superficial things? It's God's way.

Most importantly, though, I have learned the amazing abilities of people to live lives without denial. I am a bit in awe here. If only America had a way to teach this introspection to the rest of the world. We are a nation of values, and we should share this the beauty of this glory.

@thucker

well, it is quite easy to cherry pick Jefferson to fit your preconceived ideologies

"He who knows best knows how little he knows."

"I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office."

"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."

"Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong."

"On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind."

@ concern trolls - you're totally right about the potential for a boom in business tonight downtown. I'm not a Dem or a Repub, and I'm not an Obama fan, I don't get involved in the nonsense, but anybody with a neuron firing would look at this huge crowd as nothing but walking wallets. $$$$$$$$$ Hello. Restaurants and bars will be booming tonight, revenue will be pouring into the city as a result of this rally. Many people aren't going to just hit the roads right away just so they can be trapped in a traffic jam. It's Friday night, and there's the downtown mall, right there. The smell of food wafting through the air, inviting looking restaurants with their cozy glow emanating from windows and front doors, the sounds of clinking silverware from the outside cafe seating, live music in the air. Come on. Who wouldn't want to kick around for a bit, get some food, some drinks, hang out with their friends and family, browsing the wares for sale from the outdoor vendors, popping into bars, checking out the shops. If restaurant and bar owners were smart they'd be out there handing out menus and advertising to people in line. Instead it's, "Oh woe is me, there are going to be 5,000-7,000 people in Cville this Friday night, boy this is terrible for our business!" (And that's not even counting everybody coming into town for the Paramount and Mainstreet Arena events.)

This isn't exactly the summertime people, it's off season......so wake up and smell the unexpected potential windfall of money that will be pouring into the city. You won't get many more off season Fridays like this one, and where the weather is still decent, not too cold. You can get stuck in your inflexible, ritual loving reptilian brain that demands that everything always be the same way, or loosen up, adjust to changes and go with the flow, looking for opportunties and silver linings in the clouds.

That aside I do think it definately s u c k s (automatic word censoring in effect!) for anybody who needs to be on the 29 and finds portions of it closed with detours. Anybody in that position has my fullest sympathy.

The teens will be down at the Main Street Arena watching the MMA fight.

President of the United States at one end of the mall, MMA fight at the other. Now that's diversity!

Bravo, Concern Trolls! Exactly what I was thinking. Welcome, President Obama! Go, Tom Perriello!

Sure it's his right to come, but I question the place and time. Tying up 29N for 3 hours is going to be interesting to say the leat.

I expect most people who come to see the prez won't even get near the Pavillion.

DD, your wise council is inspiring. In the words of the immortal Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?" I'm pretty choked up right now.

Divide and conquer has been the name of the game here on Planet Earth for millenia, and most people will never wake up to this no matter what. Half the people you see out there playing into this like rabid robots aren't even real anyway, at least not in the way you think. This world isn't what you think it is.

I'm glad the TOTUS (Teleprompter Of The United States) is coming to Cville. It will do wonders to get out the vote against Nancy Perriello. He already has his lips planted firmly on both Pelosi's and Obama's rear ends and this visit will make it that more obvious.

Before the grammar police strike, that last line should read "....make it more obvious."

Excuse me, but Rodney King said,

"C..... can.... can't.... can't we all get a wong?"

I just had a wild thought.... I wonder if anybody advised the Secret Service of all the little gangsta wannabe teens that seem to take over the downtown mall after dark on Friday nights? While they are pretty much an embarrasment to the city all the time, it will be even more embarassing while the President is here.

All you concern trolls saying Periello "lost your vote" because this Obama visit is costing businesses and tax dollars? You are a bunch of liars.

IF that's how you decide your vote, you were never going to vote for Tom in the first place, you disingenuous republican plants!

And how do you know that some of the THOUSANDS of people coming downtown today aren't going to patronize our downtown businesses? Going to get in line early at 2 pm - maybe you'll also get a bite of lunch downtown? After Obama speaks and the crowd disperses at 8 pm - go to a restaurant or a bar and have dinner and a few drinks.

Maybe this would be GOOD for downtown, and all your concern-trolling about this hurting business is your biased opinion, not a known-fact.

Whenever someone says "I would have voted for a Democrat, except [insert republican talking point]" you know they're full of it.

many of these posts really highlight the enormous challenge rational, thinking people have in overcoming ignorance and stupidity.

it is really quite remarkable

last year, Congress approved one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in American history, and the public has no idea that it even happened.

the economy stopped shrinking and started growing more than a year ago (not nearly enough, but the trend reversed), but clearly most people have been convinced by the Chamber of Commerce and Faux News that the economy continued to shrink in 2010

the only economic plan the teabagges offer is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent and adding onto them a series of permanent tax breaks tilted toward corporations and high-income earners at a cost of $3 trillion--more than triple the cost of Obama’s stimulus - and not remotely paid for.

I think the assumptions some have about intelligence and maturity of voters and the quality of public discourse are WAY too generous given the substantive evidence at hand.

the public has enormous responsibilities in our political system and the whining, petty nihilist on the right dont offer much beyond showing their willingness to sidestep or even bludgeon truth or reality in order to provide an emotionally satisfying show that solves nothing, but keeps them in power, handing out treats and favors to their financial supporters

The Obama crowd will not patronize any place that does not accept EBT cards, so that leaves out most of the downtown businesses. It will be the biggest freak show in the history of C-ville, for sure. How appropriate for Halloween.

Dear President Obama:

"No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it."

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt."

"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of [adminstrators] too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery."

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. "

"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."

-- Thomas Jefferson

I work in the downtown area and I'm taking the afternoon off because I don't want to get stuck in traffic this afternoon. Hope the City and County really do get reimbursed by the Perriello campaign for the expense of having to accomodate the President's pep rally for Tom. I don't think my tax dollars should have to pay for a non-event that will change no voters' minds. Everyone in that Pavilion will have voted for Tom anyway. Prez should have gone to Danville if he really wanted to help Tom convert some voters.

Just think what all the money being spent on Perriello's fruitless efforts to get reelected could have accomplished if it were spent on more worthy causes like cancer research, financial assistance to families of servicemen killed in action, etc. Instead we get treated to traffic tie-ups so an empty suit like Obama can read bovine excrement off a teleprompter imploring us to reelect one of his rubber stamp lackeys. Jeeeesh!

"...I can’t even tell you how many people I interviewed at Tea Party events who came up with one version or another of the Joe Miller defense. Yes, I’m on Medicare, but”Š I needed it! It’s those other people who don’t need it who are the problem!

Or: Yes, it’s true, I retired from the police/military/DPW at 54 and am on a fat government pension that you and your kids are going to be paying for for the next forty years, while I sit in my plywood-paneled living room in Florida watching Fox News, gobbling Medicare-funded prescription medications, and railing against welfare queens. But I worked hard for those bennies! Not like those other people!

This whole concept of ââ?¬Å?good welfare” and ââ?¬Å?bad welfare” is at the heart of the Tea Party ideology, and it’s something that is believed implicitly across the line..."
From: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/matt-taibbi/blogs/TaibbiData_May201...

I P Freeley: i agree about halliburton but i wasn't naming corporations - just pointing out a sound management and financial practice. have you ever owned a business? i have and if i had an employee that only produced 40-50%, i would have sent them on their way. at that point they are a liability not an asset. so unless o-boo-boo turns his track record around, i won't be voting for him again either!

Ranlome: the article i read yesterday in a local cville paper said that the city and county did not know how they were going to pay for their share of this you devent. are you suggesting this was reported falsely? tommy may have decided to step up to the plate AFTER all the questions concerning expenses started popping up. maybe you could ask him for us.

Concern Trolls: before you call people liars, you need to get to know them. i have personally met tom and i did vote for him last time but have not been pleased with his performance. when you're not happy with an employees performance, you fire them - which is what happens when people don't vote for him and he loses the election. i prefer someone who leads - not follows. i don't really care for hurt either but didn't o-boo-boo say we needed change?????

Ranlome and edit police: you devent should not be in my previous post - it should say pay for their share of this event.

Stop trying to make believe that Perriello has now lost your vote because Obama is coming to town. Yeah right!
Also, this notion that 5,000-7,000 people coming to the downtown mall is somehow disadvantageous to downtown business owners is downright laughable. I swear, if Republicans actually believe half of the stuff that they say, this country is in much worse shape than I thought.
Will traffic be snarled? Of course. Is traffic snarled every time any president goes anywhere? Of course. Get over it.

Let's see, it's 1:30 - do I bother to try to go downtown to see the prez?

Pro - He's the president. Not often one gets to see him in the flesh.

Con - 3 hour wait in line. 2 hour rally where he'll trash the Republicans, praise local Dems and airbrush his own record. His only reason to be here is for the six o'clock soundbite. My only reason to be there is to be a campaign prop. And for this I'll waste five hours (not including drive time)?

OTOH, the expense of the security detail is a small price considering the alternative. The inconvenience and expense insures that each of us as a voter has an equal say in who's president, instead of handing it over lock, stock and barrel (literally) to some lone nut with a gun. Would we have escalated in Vietnam if JFK had a second term? Would this country have survived a single day under President Dick Cheney? I don't care who the president is or what party (s)he is, I want that person to have airtight security and no price is too high to prevent an assassin from becoming an unelected kingmaker (i.e., dictator). Rock on, Secret Service!

Go see the president at the pavilion or go to the MMA tournament at the old ice rink?
Humm.......

Should be an interesting mix of peoples nonetheless

The ceremonial aspects of the American Presidency are an effrontery to everyone outside the "priesthood". All of us regular people trying to go about our lives are having to deal with a town turned upside down by this absurd dog and pony show. The amount of security required indicates how irrelevant the president is to the real world and how deeply resented this totem of empire is. He should stay home and let people live their lives without this insolent intrusion.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous
to our liberties than standing armies. Already they
have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set
the Government at defiance. The issuing power should
be taken from the banks and restored to the people to
whom it properly belongs.

--Thomas Jefferson

ââ?¬Å?I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed
corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a
trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

--Thomas Jefferson

"If the American people ever allow private banks
to control the issue of their money,
first by inflation and then by deflation,
the banks and corporations that will
grow up around them
will deprive the people of their property
until their children will wake up homeless
on the continent their fathers conquered."

---Thomas Jefferson

So after leaving for work at 5 am, I'm supposed to not travel down 29 tonight when I finally get off work at 6:30 because the president is in town. My tax dollars at work.

Little known fact: U.S. 29 is not the only road in Albemarle County.

Lets see, to go north on 29 tonight you could take 20 until you get to Burnley Station Road and then take that back out to 29. Another option: you can take Earlysville Road to Advance Mills Road to Frays Mill Road back out to 29. Sure, either of those roads can handle all of the normal Friday northbound 29 traffic in addition to their own normal traffic...no problem (sarcastic).

Maybe people should just take I-64 to I-81 to Harrisonburg, then take Route 33 back to Ruckersville. Another option, take I-64 to Zions Cross Roads, take 15 to Gordonsville and then 33 back to Ruckersville. What about 250 to Keswick, 22/231 to Gordonsville and 33 to Ruckersville. Sure, lots of other roads (sarcastic).

Hey, if we get people to take my alternative routes on an equal basis then the entire north half of Albemarle can reap the benefits of Obama's visit (sarcastic). Yeah, maybe the route via Harrisonburg is overdone :-) .

Hey Richard - you leave for work at 5 am and work until 6:30 and you expect me to believe you're not the type of business person that can take off a little early if he wants to? Laughable.

Or why don't you stay and work even later or go patronize some local business for a beer and a dinner entree?

Whiners, the lot of you!

I had no problem with W turning my family's Christmas vacation spot (Boca Grande, FL) into a target range with me as the target, should I look at anyone crosseyed. I was actually able to stroll past the Gasparilla Inn, where Papa Bush speaking on the front portch to an adoring throng of millionaires, with a six-pack of paper towels fresh from Hudson's, past (in between) 2 cops on the way back home who never looked at or even stopped me. I could have had anything in that package, a gun, a grenade, what have you. If anything, I was PO'd that they'd be so lax toward the safety of even an ex-president. If a sitting president knows they're only safe while in office, and safety's their problem afterwards, they can still be blackmailed while in the Oval Office. Think of it: whackjob sends message to prez, "Do what I want or you and your family are dirt four years from now." Did you elect said whackjob? Did I? Then quit griping about the steps needed to make sure he or she isn't pulling the strings of the most powerful person on the planet and be grateful that your vote is the thing Obama fears most.

sure, let obama come down in the back of michelle's station wagon.
good thing that bush never left the white house ever to campaign.

The line of people is now three people thick, down the entire mall, past the Omni and out onto Water Street. And growing. Good luck to anybody who hasn't even arrived yet and actually thinks they're going to get in. ;D ;D

Yep, you can see them on the webcam, it's near the theatre on the downtown mall. Should be a better view after the sun moves. http://www.readthehook.com/webcam.aspx

This is an event best observed remotely.

Obama is a good man with good intentions but his supporting cast stinks!!!

Apparently Jon Lovitz's lying guy is the chief speechwriter. These two crooks are blaming 35 years of their own party's aggressive economic failures on their opposition.

It would be hilarious if it were not for the many people who have lost nearly everything because of the Obama policies.

It is embarrassing to see the crowd full of celebrant faces cheering over the billions spent during the past year to construct more government buildings--at our expense.

Jeff D.. keep preaching about republican fiscal responsibility and ignoring facts: http://www.rebelcapitalist.com/index.php/site/permalink/federal-budget-d...

Keep hoping for tax cuts for the rich, because one day your dirt farm will take off and you'll be in that upper tax bracket, just like the rest of the lower bracket tea partiers upset about their recent tax cuts!

So Jeff, who are these many people who have lost everything due to Obama policies? Those without health insurance? Homeowners? Policmen? Teachers?

Who are these people? What government bildings?

How is this different than Bush creating the largest government agency in history?

You people are just such a bunch of flaming hypocrites its really pathetic.

Visit the mall in D.C. sometime. Marvel at the massive, impressive structures that house the many politicians and other pigs at the trough. These people are insulated from america.

The dept of education castle I think illustrates it best, only a mile or so away are crumbling underfunded public schools.

Since our votes won't change a thing, maybe stronger persuasion is required.

I know "Ken", The preoccupation with misdirection is vexing. When we elect people, they stop being like us. Then they are not likeable. Our parents/Employers are not our friends. Grow. Up.

Yes, how dare the US have a beautiful capital like every other nation in the world. Of course, don't pay attention to the fact that many of those monuments and wonderful structures were built between 50-150 years ago, and most after great triumphs. A few stone and marble buildings are the cause of Americas woes... give me a break.

The Department of Education building in DC isn't particularly fancy, and it isn't on the Mall either, the people who work there have little influence on how DC schools are run or funded, but hey, why let a few little facts get in the way....

Also, I'm pretty sure that most of the people who work in DC probably do live in the America they are supposedly insulated from if for no other reason than to save commuting time.

Hey troll, I work 6:30 to 6:30. No exceptions. I do a hard, honest day's work and I think it's not too much to ask that after I am done making my living, that I can travel home in a reasonable manner. I'll have everyone know I went down route 20 last night and it was a mess.

Sounds like Richard works for SNL....

I don't get it. Is it an attempt to pump up an already Democrat leaning City? Is Obama just going where's it's safe?