MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — A five-mile traffic jam was caused by federal agents who abandoned a previously approved traffic plan during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Malibu, city officials said Tuesday.
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, city officials said, 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.
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