Justin Bieber, President Obama Visits Threaten to Cause Traffic Chaos

By Jill Colvin on November 23, 2011 12:00pm | Updated on November 23, 2011 12:39pm

President Barack Obama is expected to swing by a West Village campaign fundraising dinner on Aug. 11, 2011.
President Barack Obama is expected to swing by a West Village campaign fundraising dinner on Aug. 11, 2011.
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Wikimedia Commons/ SEIU International

MIDTOWN — He said they were tight.

President Obama, who once told a smitten Justin Bieber fan he "knows Justin," is in New York next week — at the same time as the Canadian heartthrob.

It's the second time in six months that visits from the two have coincided. The last time left city traffic snarled.

The White House announced Tuesday that the president will be returning to Manhattan on Wednesday Nov. 30th, for a series of fundraisers.

The same evening, thousands are expected to watch Justin Bieber perform alongside Michael Buble and Cee Lo Green at the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas tree.

The overlap has prompted traffic guru Gridlock Sam Schwartz to issue what he’s billed as the “Biggest Gridlock Alert Day of Decade,” warning residents to brace for the post-Thanksgiving twin-punches of the superstar visits.

“With masses of people in Midtown for the tree lighting and to see Justin Bieber, the President could’ve picked a better day to visit," Gridlock Sam wrote, predicting major delays across Midtown and much of the east side.

"Many streets and avenues will be closed."

According to Schwartz, the president will attend several fundraisers, including one at the Sheraton Hotel on Seventh Avenue — just a couple of blocks from where Bieber will perform.

Road closures include Fifth and Sixth Avenues from West 48th to West 51st streets, the FDR Drive below 63rd Street. Other avenues east of Seventh will also be affected.

During the pair's last coinciding visit in June, Obama made several stops in Midtown, including a fundraiser at the Broadway play "Sister Act," while Bieber promoted his new fragrance at Macy's Herald Square.

Justin Bieber lights the The Empire State Building on November 18, 2011 in New York City.
Justin Bieber lights the The Empire State Building on November 18, 2011 in New York City.
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Cindy Ord/Getty Images

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