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Bryan Rodriguez. (PHOTO: Bryan Rodriguez | Facebook)

Show your support for the family of DPW worker Bryan Rodriguez

According to a statement by Jeff Polenske, commissioner of the Department of Public Works (DPW), there has been an outpouring of people interested in supporting the bereaved family of Bryan Rodriguez.

Last week, Rodriguez, a DPW worker, was out on the job when he was struck and ultimately killed by a driver who pinned Rodriguez between their car and the back of his own work truck. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene.

It's tragic that Rodriguez should be killed in the service of the perpetrator while filling potholes. It's promising that the police have someone in custody.

According to the Wisconsin Death Report, in 2016 death by motor vehicle — which is classified as "unintentional injury" — claims three times more lives (600) than homicides (194) in the state of Wisconsin, though it's unsettling to believe that killing anyone on residential streets, in high-vis gear and a helmet, near a giant service vehicle, and then abandoning the scene could be classified as "accidental." Clear choices were made.

Seventeenth Street is a wide, four-lane boulevard with a median and parking on either side. Streets like these encourage reckless behavior such as high speeds, which dramatically decrease the survivability of such crashes.

Automobile-related dangers also rank high in the minds of Milwaukee citizens, according to the city's most recent Public Safety Survey, which shows combined concerns of carjacking, drunk driving and reckless driving (at nearly 33 percent) are 4.6 times higher than gun violence concerns (7.1 percent).

Show your support

If you want to show your support of the Rodriguez family, you can donate money via the Bryan Rodriguez Memorial Fund at any Landmark Credit Union (or mailed to 9515 W. National Ave., West Allis, WI 53277) or online through their GoFundMe link.

Rodriguez's visitation will be open to the public on Feb. 16, at Serb Hall (5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 9 a.m. to noon. The funeral service will start at noon, with a procession to Good Hope Cemetery (4141 S. 43rd St.) around 2:30 p.m.

You can also remind state representatives to take the Complete Streets policy seriously, which was developed by the DPW and aims to make city streets like 17th Street safer for all residents and road users.


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