The POTUS is coming! The POTUS is coming!
For those who might be unaware, POTUS is shorthand for President of the United States. And the current person in office is going to be in the Portland area later this week. Ahead of the visit, at least one media pundit is warning commuters to be prepared for what he calls Obama Jam 2015.
It's good advice. When POTUS rides through any city, there are traffic snarls. That's just a fact of life. And where there are traffic snarls, there is an increased likelihood that someone's road rage will be triggered.
Short fuses lead to bad judgment and an environment already stoked with a lot of distraction sources is only bound to be worse under POTUS conditions. Hopefully we'll be able to avoid any negligence that results in a motor vehicle accident.
Meanwhile, there are some measures we can take to try to minimize the risk of a tragedy occurring. Here are a few, and they're good now or anytime POTUS is around.
- Don't go out. If you don't have to go out, don't. If you can work from home, do.
- Avoid centers of activity. If you know where the president is going to be, steer clear of it if you can.
- Take surface streets. If you want to avoid delays, consider what freeways the motorcade is likely to take and opt for surface road routes that day.
- Expect delays on commuter lines. Mass transit typically bows to a presidential visit. Service will likely be slow, if not stopped.
The issues of a presidential visit are not unique to Portland. They happen in any metro area that POTUS goes to. It may be difficult to deal with, but not impossible. Just stay calm and plan ahead.