President Obama's visit causes traffic backup in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- People who live and work in San Francisco now know what a visit from President Obama means. The president is in town, staying at the Intercontinental Hotel on Howard Street, and traffic was a mess because of street closures.

President Obama left for the Silicon Valley on Friday morning, so streets have since opened up. He was unable to take Marine One so the CHP escorted his motorcade to Stanford.

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"I work right down the street on 4th and Folsom, and there's traffic backed up as far as you can see this way and as far as you can see that way. Both directions. We try and get trucks in for deliveries and it is a pain," San Francisco resident Roy Martin said.

Some taxi drivers said they avoid the area when the president is here because traffic is so bad, but for those staying in the hotel, it's quite a thrill.

"It was really interesting to be in the hotel and go through all the security guards and the metal detectors and everything," Massachusetts resident Dillon Belser said.

But staying in the hotel does not guarantee an Obama spotting. It sounds like working there doesn't, either.

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"I really wanted a chance to see him but I didn't get a chance to see him, sadly. The concierge told us that he has come in here at least 10 times and the concierge hasn't seen him at all," Massachusetts resident Nate Belser said. "So my dreams were crushed at this point. I was like there's no way I'm seeing him."

People did what they could for a glimpse - some with an overhead view, others huddled together on the curb, being watched very carefully by a large team of San Francisco police officers.

The president finally pulled out around 10 a.m. to head down to Silicon Valley.

Street closures that will be in effect for President Obama's visit on June 23, 2016.


Those who got a glimpse thought it was worth the wait. "I just have never been that close to a president before, I don't ever expect to, so this was just an amazing experience," Connecticut resident Heather Milligran-Day said.

Crews are picking up the barricades, cleaning up all the evidence that the president was here.

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