A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.
Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.
The other night, during the Winter 2008-2009 Inaugural Traffic Snarl, I was bluntly reminded of one of the very few issues I have with Wauwatosa.
You see, as I’ve said here, many times, I’m a Tosa Enthusiast. I love all things Tosa, except for this. What’s the problem, you ask? Well, Tosa during a snowstorm can be like Mt. Everest – pretty to look at but tough to summit.
It was around 6:30 pm and I was returning home after an appointment in West Allis. Generally, that’s a 10 minute trip. I prepared for a delay, but didn’t expect the toughest part to be less than a mile from my home.
I exited the highway at 84th Street and figured I’d take one of my many super-and-maybe-not-so-secret ways through the village. Great idea, except for during a sorta-snow/ice storm. The Harmonee Bridge was closed. It was gridlock. Nobody was moving.
If you know that area, you know that, near the Tosa Village, there are only two ways to get from south to north – The Harmonee Bridge or 70th/68th street. Everything in-between is off-limits…to cars, that is.
The other issue is that “north Tosa” is higher than “south Tosa” and the tiniest bit of ice can make it virtually impossible to get from one end of town to the next.
On a typical day, commuting through Tosa works pretty well. Sure, it’s a little putzy to navigate the streets where you can’t turn left during rush hour, but once you figure it out, it’s fine. During the “traffic snarl,” it was a nightmare. At one point, I considered abandoning my car and walking home. In fact, if I had done that, it probably would have lessened my one hour commute.
And so, in mid-November, I was slapped upside the head by Mother Nature. “It’s winter, dummy! Drive carefully!”