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City of Malibu Blames Netanyahu Traffic Jam on Feds

Federal authorities decided "unexpectedly" to shut down two lanes of southbound traffic to secure the area, and large vans, trucks and buses were searched to ensure they did not pose a security threat.

Twitter photo of traffic on PCH during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Malibu last week.
Twitter photo of traffic on PCH during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Malibu last week.

Originally posted at 12:01 p.m. March 11, 2014.

Federal security authorities diverted from a previously approved traffic plan during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent visit to Malibu, resulting in a miles-long backup on Pacific Coast Highway and frustrating thousands of motorists, city officials said today.

Responding to concerns about the estimated five-mile traffic jam that ensued last Wednesday, causing roughly 90-minute delays for motorists, Malibu officials said they were informed in advance about Netanyahu's plans to attend a gala event near Carbon Canyon Road, and worked with sheriff's officials to coordinate traffic issues.

"The rolling motorcade was intended to come from Santa Monica and stop at the Carbon Beach home where the event was held," Malibu City Manager Jim Thorsen said. "The identified traffic plan indicated that traffic would be blocked for only minutes in order to turn vehicles around and to secure the area as the prime minister entered the home."

But according to city officials, federal authorities decided "unexpectedly" to shut down two lanes of southbound traffic to secure the area, and large vans, trucks and buses were searched to ensure they did not pose a security threat.

"It was extremely disappointing that the identified traffic plan was not followed," Mayor Joan House said. "I recognize that security for visiting dignitaries is critical, but we need to balance that to prevent traffic tie- ups."

City officials said they used an e-notification system to provide traffic updates to residents via email and text message during the traffic jam.

--City News Service

Candace Brown March 11, 2014 at 06:11 PM
I would like to know who the "city officials" are who sent out traffic updates that no one received. And exactly what did they say? Also, I don't know anyone who was stuck for only 90 minutes. Three hours seemed the average delay.
hellwood March 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM
"...large vans, trucks and buses were searched to ensure they did not pose a security threat." is this legal?
Zuma Skipper March 12, 2014 at 11:44 AM
Sure is Hellwood, all the Feds need to do is site a "National Security" concern and they can do whatever they deem necessary to protect us from ourselves.
Joseph Delano March 12, 2014 at 02:30 PM
Well at least it was a REAL world leader in Mr. Netenyahu and not "Bathhouse Barry" on another one of his never ending fundraising trips. Then I would be really pissed.
hellwood March 12, 2014 at 04:13 PM
...so how many terrorists did the feds find while "legally" searching the citizens, with probable cause being the size of their vehicles? ...and how much danger were the citizens in if this much security was necessary?

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