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.
Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.
In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.
Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.