Everyone complains about the traffic when the President comes to town. A presidential visit means detours, the sudden appearance of No Parking zones, and, in some areas, gridlock. But how much does a visit from the Prez actually affect the flow of cars around the city? To answer this, Quartz got data from traffic-avoiding app Waze (anonymized, of course) that shows hundreds of thousands of traffic reports on the days when President Obama visited LA in June.
Quartz focused on traffic-related reports only, and then animated the results to show how the traffic responded to the presidential visit, with each purple dot standing for a Waze user reporting traffic. (Animated version here.) They even popped in some helpful captions to let viewers know what time the Prez actually arrived, where barricades had been set up in West LA during his visit to help his motorcade get from the airport to his hotel, and highlighted his hotel for the visit, the Beverly Hilton.
It's hard to compare the traffic produced by the President's roadblocks in West LA to a normal driving day in that part of the city because the animation doesn't show any other examples of that time frame on any other days. But it's pretty easy to compare traffic around the President's hotel before and after he was staying there, and to see a noticeable uptick in congestion reports nearby. (The hotel is at Wilshire and Santa Monica, which is gnarly even when the President isn't in town.) We've grabbed a few shots of the gridlock: