California legislators voted Tuesday to designate a section of the 134 Freeway in Los Angeles County as the President Barack H. Obama Highway in honor of the 44th President of the United States.
In order to place the signs with Obama’s name along the section of the 134 Freeway between the 210 Freeway and the 2 Freeway — covering parts of the communities of Glendale, Pasadena and Eagle Rock — private donations will have to be raised by supporters.
Ironically, President Ronald Reagan Freeway is located in Simi Valley just east of the newly approved site of the President Obama stretch of freeway.
Breitbart News reported late last year that there were multiple proposals to rename a road and a freeway section in Los Angeles after the 44th President because “Obama studied at Occidental for two years before transferring to Columbia University, where he eventually graduated in 1983. [In December], Pasadena unveiled a sidewalk plaque outside Obama’s former apartment from his Occidental days.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that in spite of a nearly unanimous vote (38-0 in the State Senate with only one “no” vote in the Assembly), Democrats still could not help but take a swipe at the current president:
State Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) said he decided to seek renaming the stretch of the Ventura Freeway after learning Obama lived in Pasadena as a student and used the freeway to commute to class at Occidental.
Portantino made a veiled reference in his comments on the floor to President Trump’s decision that day to end a program that protects young immigrants from deportation.
“It is particularly proud to stand today to recognize [Obama’s] compassion and heart and dignity on a day when we sorely need compassion, heart and dignity expressed,” Portantino told his colleagues.
The lone “no” vote was cast by Republican Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach), who said the action is too early and may create confusion with the city of Los Angeles renaming a portion of Rodeo Road as “Obama Boulevard.”
Harper also expressed concern, according to the Times, that a section of the 90 Freeway once named after President Nixon, was rescinded after he resigned due to the Watergate scandal.
CalTrans is required to provide a final cost estimate, but previous freeway namings have ranged between $3,000 and $5,000.