In the time-honored tradition of naming clogged urban thoroughfares after politicians, a group of Democrats in Los Angeles is proposing to rename a freeway after President Barack Obama.
The proposal would rename California route 134, from Glendale to Eagle Rock, north-northeast of downtown Los Angeles, between CA-2 and US-210, near Occidental College and south of the Rose Bowl (lower left, above).
Obama studied at Occidental for two years before transferring to Columbia University, where he eventually graduated in 1983. Earlier this month, Pasadena unveiled a sidewalk plaque outside Obama’s former apartment from his Occidental days.
The freeway re-naming was officially filed earlier this week by State Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge). In a press statement, Portantino said:
Today Senator Anthony J. Portantino introduced Resolution SCR 8, which will name the segment of the CA-134 freeway between the Glendale CA-2 and the Interstate 210 Freeway the “President Barack H. Obama Freeway”. President Obama attended Occidental College in Eagle Rock from 1979 to 1981 and lived in Pasadena during his sophomore year. His attendance at Occidental College influenced his political trajectory and led him to become one of our most revered and respected Presidents in American history. President Obama is leaving office with tremendous approval from across our country.
For his contributions as a community activist, constitutional scholar, United States Senator and President, it is only fitting to honor our 44th President by naming a part of a freeway he most certainly used while living in the area. Over this past weekend, local activists in the 25th Senate District suggested to Sen. Portantino that given the President’s connection to Southern California and Eagle Rock in particular, it would be appropriate to memorialize his time in Southern California with a freeway naming.
Obama still went by the nickname “Barry” while at Occidental, and drove a used red Fiat, according to David Maraniss’s 2012 biography, Barack Obama: The Story.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.