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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, July 28, 2014

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People in Bay View had the right idea when it snowed on Monday - stay indoors.
People in Bay View had the right idea when it snowed on Monday - stay indoors.

When it snows, stay home Milwaukee

It snowed yesterday and the world as we know it ended.

During the morning commute Lincoln Memorial Drive still wasn't plowed (what?!) and every Milwaukeean I encountered on the road forgot that they live in Milwaukee and have indeed driven in snow before.

I watched a woman decide to not slow down the hill at the top of Lincoln Memorial and gradually move from a slight fishtail to a skid across lanes to a half u-turn up onto the median – all while holding her travel coffee mug in one hand.

Then, mere moments later, she sped past me by the Art Museum, coffee cup still in hand.

That led me to the mess on the Hoan, where the traffic light was out. A lone Milwaukee police officer was parked there, but was not directing traffic. So while all of Bay View sat and waited to move one car at a time, no one was going to Discovery World, no one was turning north off Michigan Street.

Simple traffic management – get out and wave everyone along. Then again, that might have led to a greater disaster.

I thought for sure that by the end of the day Milwaukeeans would've remembered that they've traveled in snow before, but that was not the case. Traversing Dr. Martin Luther King Drive about dinnertime was equally maddening, people driving in both lanes, riding the brake from Center Street to North Avenue.

That's natural in the snow, right? And I must have missed the snow etiquette page where it details stopping in the middle of the street to see if the car on the curb is going to pull out is perfectly acceptable.

There's not a lot to complain about traffic-wise in Milwaukee. It takes about 15 minutes to get anywhere you want to go, no matter what. But I'll never understand why the presence of rain or snow turns everyone's minds to mush.

The local televisions stations devote countless hours to storm watches and trackers and countless dollars to radar equipment. Snow should never be a surprise here, nor should driving in it. But, do me a favor – the next time we get snow, just stay home.

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