Obama's Fundraising Blitz to Wreak Traffic Chaos During Evening Rush

By Jill Colvin on June 4, 2012 1:36pm | Updated on June 4, 2012 2:34pm

President Barack Obama delivers his commencement speech to the Barnard class of 2012.
President Barack Obama delivers his commencement speech to the Barnard class of 2012.
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Barnard College/Asiya Khaki

MIDTOWN — President Barack Obama’s star-studded fundraising blitz this evening is expected to snarl rush-hour traffic across Manhattan — yet again.

The president is set to arrive from Washington, D.C. shortly after 4:30 p.m. and will attend a trio of events, zigzagging from Lower Manhattan to the Upper East Side to Midtown, where traffic is expected to grind to a halt.

“Obama Alert! The POTUS will be in town! The barricades along the length of 42nd St. are up! Anticipate major traffic!” “Gricklock” Sam Schwartz tweeted, warning of numerous traffic freezes north and south of 42nd Street as the president makes his way through town.

The MTA is warning bus users to anticipate delays in Lower Manhattan, with diversions on the M5, M15, M15SBS and the M20 lines from approximately 3:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and again from 11:00 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. in the South Ferry area.

The President is set to kick off the evening with former President Bill Clinton at a small reception for about 50 people at a private home on the Upper East Side, where residents spotted barricades up late Sunday evening.

“I love that Obama will be in my neighborhood, just a few blocks from my apt, tomorrow. #obama #ues #fb,” tweeted @KevinClamato Monday.

The president and his motorcade are then expected to head south to the opulent Waldorf Astoria Hotel for a gala event featuring a performance by the one-and-only Bon Jovi. Five hundred people paid between $2,500 to $40,000 to attend, campaign officials said.

The motorcade is set to depart at around 5:30 p.m. and will travel along Fifth Avenue, Schwartz said.

Finally, the president will travel to the New Amsterdam Theater on West 42nd Street for a “Barack on Broadway" event set to kick off at 7 p.m., likely freezing traffic around Times Square.

There, he will deliver remarks before sitting back for a concert featuring performances by a star-studded cast, including Nina Arianda, Kerry Butler, Norbet Leo Butz, the West Wing’s Stockard Channing, Chuck Cooper, How I Met Your Mother’s Neil Patrick Harris, Smash’s Meagn Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, James Earl Jones, Tony Kushner, Angela Lansbury and Patti LuPone.

Protesters are planning to rally outside of the theater during the performance.

The president's motorcade is expected to shut down traffic one last time as he departs shortly before 11:30 p.m.

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