Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Man hit while bicycling on I-205 path remembered by friends

Posted by on September 8th, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Martin Weiner. One of his friends said, “This last season he was really loving his cycling as an outlet from virus confinement, making regular rides out the Springwater to Gresham.”
(Photo courtesy Davis Te Selle)


Martin Weiner was 81 years young when he was hit and seriously injured by the driver of a car while biking on the I-205 path this past Thursday.

Weiner (on right) and a friend.

Over the weekend several of Martin’s friends contacted me to share the terrible news that he died in the hospital on Sunday. This collision hasn’t been reported anywhere else and I’m still awaiting a response from the Portland Police Bureau to confirm the details.

According to Martin’s friends the collision happened where the I-205 path crosses Southeast Market Street. It’s a relatively low-volume crossing that’s marked with a crosswalk and a few caution signs (see below). The posted speed limit is 25 mph. Martin was biking north and was in the crosswalk when he was struck by a driver headed west on Market. Martin’s friend Davis Te Selle says police responded and were in contact with driver.

(Left: Northbound on the path approaching Market St. Right: Westbound on Market approaching the path crossing.)

Martin was known as vigorous runner and bicycle rider even into his 8th decade. He loved playing music with friends at jam sessions of the “Tillamook Street musicians” in northeast Portland.

Charlie Becker knew him well and shared this remembrance with us:

“Martin was a friend and brother to all of us… a friend and brother of mine who taught me to see the beauty in the poetry of Roots Americana music… he taught me many of the tunes I play… Martin was a Sailor and School Teacher and a Nurse… musician and Artist… avid runner and cyclist… he lived simply with a small footprint on this earth… taking the bus to music sessions with his Mandolin… Guitar or his Cello… he lived with dignity among folks who knew and appreciated him… he lived with his partner Jean and her daughter who were fond of him…

We’ll miss him in our little group of Tillamook Street musicians… his cranky lovable self… he was a mentor and a lighthouse for me… straight up honorable kind man who passed on while doing the things he loved… Yes I am saddened today for the loss of my friend…how fragile this short life is…ephemeral…fragile…fleeting… Bless all of you and bless Martin… I am richer for knowing all of you and feel gratitude for having known him… being touched by his kind gentle nature.”

Martin Weiner.
(Photos: Charlie Becker)


Advertisement

Lenny Anderson (whom some of you know from our comment section and from his work as Swan Island Transportation Management Association), also played music with Martin. “Martin was so alive, so present with such a great range of songs for us all,” Lenny shared with me this morning. “What a loss for his family, friends, fellow musicians…for the world. And another biker laid low in this town!”

Another friend had this to say when he remembered Martin:

“He was such a sweet guy. just a couple weeks older than me. In great shape really for being 81…or any age really…running 5 or 6 miles many days or riding his bike 2 or 3 times a week for 30 or 40 miles. We had become quite good friends over the past few years. It shouldn’t have happened… He was an accomplished marathon runner with a lot of great runs in his resume… This last season he was really loving his cycling as an outlet from virus confinement, making regular rides out the Springwater to Gresham.”

Martin’s friend Davis Te Selle said he’s “devastated” by what happened and wants the city to make the intersection safer. “There is virtually no warning yellow signage, flashing lights or any other protective infrastructure,” he wrote in an email to me today. “The only signage is the green mileage and directing arrows signage right at sidewalk junction.” Te Selle wants a flashing yellow beacon and more signage to alert drivers of crossing riders. “It is so sad. He was a very safety savvy rider… very prudent at intersections and choice of routes to minimize risks.”

Martin is the 33rd person to die as a result of a traffic collision in Portland so far this year.

His friends plan set out a ghost bike to remember him and will join together on Tillamook Street this Friday to remember their friend and, “sing and play a few of Martin’s tunes loud and strong.”

___

UPDATE, 7:49 pm: Portland Police Bureau confirmed the collision and shared this statement with BikePortland:

There was a collision at 9:44 am at the bike path on I-205 and SE Market St. From this report, I do not see that a citation was issued.

From witness statements, it appears the driver of the vehicle was traveling westbound Market at a slow rate of speed, 20 mph, and not speeding, when Mr. Weiner rode, northbound, in front of him. All witness to the incident were unsure as to whether or not Mr. Weiner stopped for the stop sign before entering the street.

UPDATE, 9/10 at 11:44 pm: PPB has just issued an official press statement about this crash:

As the cyclist began to cross Southeast Market Street, he failed to stop before entering the cross street and was struck by a driver.

A witness who provided first hand observations stated the vehicle was not speeding at all and had very little, if no time at all, to react to the cyclist crossing the roadway.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
— Get our headlines delivered to your inbox.
— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

42
Leave a Reply

avatar
18 Comment threads
24 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
29 Comment authors
PatrickChris IAngelo Dolceeddieswampy Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
kelly
Guest
kelly

Hi, all – I was riding behind Martin when this accident happened & I can answer some questions that have popped up here. Immediately after the collision, the police asked the driver how fast he was going & he said 40 mph (I heard that conversation). But the investigating officer told me late he didn’t think it was possible the driver was going that fast, given where the car stopped after hitting Martin. I have no idea what speed the driver was going, but I could understand the driver being shaken after the collision & not necessarily knowing what speed he was going (it should also be noted that he was older, about 80, so that could have been a factor).

The neighbor who called 911 said the speed limit had recently been reduced to 25 mph (not sure what it was before) & that people regularly speed in that direction (driving west over the I-205 overpass) because it’s one of the few ways to get over the highway. So they’re still in a fast-driving mindset from being on the other side of the highway, & then they’re suddenly dropped into a residential neighborhood, which would necessitate an immediate change to a slower driving mind frame & pedestrian/biker awareness.

Regarding the police statement saying that witnesses were unsure if Martin stopped at the stop sign on the I-205 bike path: they said that because no one could confirm that he stopped (including me, since I wasn’t studying every move Martin made & was focused on my own riding). So while that statement is technically true, I feel like it implies that he may not have stopped, which I would find VERY hard to believe. As one of his friends mentioned above, Martin was extremely conscientious about safety & cars. Like, blatantly so. Martin had already crossed 75% of the road (all of the 1st lane & 1/2 of the 2nd lane) when the collision happened, so there would have been sufficient time for a driver going 20 mph to see him.

I was just getting to know Martin, but he was a special guy & a unique 81 year old w/ a wide circle of interests & friends. He was my role model for continuing to ride as I age (Martin was a faster rider than me — at 35 years my senior!).

You’ll be missed, buddy!

Todd/Boulanger
Guest

I am sorry to read this devastating news…

As a facility designer / planner, these types of regional facility intersections always pain me in how they are “finished”. A raised crossing should be the minimum treatment versus just a marked crosswalk. And furthermore, the priority of access should be given to the “regional traffic” on a state travel way, ie. the bikes vs. local neighborhood / district vehicle movement on a city street…ala arterial hierarchy.

pdx2wheeler
Subscriber

Not sure what we expect when PBOT has effectively build drag strips across the city, PPB has curtailed traffic enforcement, and advertising has glorified the act of people racing around in their vehicles…

Bicycling Al
Guest
Bicycling Al

I ride the I-205 path maybe a dozen times a year. I find this seemingly innocuous intersection dangerous. West bound drivers are the worst. They typically top the overpass at high speeds as it appears was the case in this incident.

There’s a similar situation at the Harold Street crossing. Again, it’s the west bound traffic that tends to speed and it baffles me because they are typically approaching a red light there so why the excess speed? That intersection appears to be their focus and you might as well be invisible when trying to cross.

Scott Kocher
Guest

If anyone goes out there (or knows the answer) I’d like to know whether the speed limit signs are 20 or 25 (currently, not street view). It is supposed to be 20 per Ordinance. The city’s GIS map shows it at 20 https://gis-pdx.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/speed-limits. There is not a speed study (see traffic counts interactive map linked here https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/180473) for this location. However, based on other similar segments, at the midpoint of a 1,200 foot straightaway like this one with no calming and >2,500 vehicles per day I would expect >50% of drivers to be speeding, with several per hour going 35 to 45 mph. This configuration is very similar to the one a half mile away where a driver killed Jessica M. on 1/4/17 in the mid-block marked crosswalk on SE Main just east of SE 100th.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Another death on the 4M caused by city delays in funding and building the greenway, long overdue.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

Road the 205 yesterday. They should just shut it down. The city hasn’t done jack to clean it up and it isn’t worth the hassle riding between glass, garbage, and living structures.

JA
Guest
JA

So sad to hear this. This is an intersection where I feel drivers aren’t particularly aware of the bike path, particularly after crossing the freeway westbound.

By the way, there’s an error in the headline – either delete the “by” or add an object for the preposition.

Brian
Guest
Brian

My condolences to his family and friends. I am sorry for your loss.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

That police statement is a joke. They have absolutely no way of knowing the exact speed of the driver. It is obvious that they just took the word of the driver, who is clearly lying. If they had actually been going 20mph, he would probably still be alive.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

There is zero chance that the driver was going 20 mph. Disgusting on PPB parts. Defund the police, fund safe road infrastructure.

AndyK
Subscriber

The community lost a great one. Rest in peace Martin.

maxD
Guest
maxD

Also from the police report “All witness to the incident were unsure as to whether or not Mr. Weiner stopped for the stop sign before entering the street.”

He is not required to stop at the stop sign, he is required to yield. And I believe the driver is required to yield someone in the crosswalk. It seems pretty clear that the driver did not yield. Did Martin hit the side of the car, or did the car strike him head-on? That police report is infuriating. Also, why does the police report say that from witness reports, the driver was going 20 mph and not speeding, when the person riding with Martin estimates the car’s speed as 40 mph? Shouldn’t the police report acknowledge that witness reports on the speed of the car differ and speed may have been a factor?

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

Please investigate the speed discrepancies reported by the “witnesses” since the one that reported here says the driver was going 40 and the police say they were going 20.

Is it possible that the person riding with Martin left with him in the ambulance and wasn’t there to talk to police?

We’re so used to the police lying about these things that I find it hard to believe anything they report.

Allan L.
Guest
Allan L.

Hey, Jonathan, a guy in his eighties is in his ninth decade. Ask me how I know.

GG
Guest
GG

This is heartbreaking news. While I did not personally know Martin, I have seen him around the Montavilla neighborhood for years, often jogging up Mt Tabor, riding his bike by my house, or getting a coffee at Bipartisan Cafe. I’m sorry that his rich life was cut short doing something he obviously loved.

eddie
Guest
eddie

In my 25 years experience cycling in Portland, drivers are likely to speed everywhere, and will routinely run intersections, including those with stop signs.

I notice this when riding with friends in cars – they run stop signs, speed, text while driving, as a matter of course. And I have to nag them to slow down, get off the phone, etc. Every time I’m a passenger in a car.

So when I’m out on the streets on my bike, which is every day, I tend to assume drivers are not going to stop, including in my neighborhood where EVERY FREAKIN DAY I nearly get hit by distracted morning commuters routinely running stop signs on their way to work.

The speed limit debates on this forum are in my opinion purely intellectual. The fact is, No matter the speed limit, you get hit with 3000lbs of steel in motion, you could get severely injured or killed. You just have to be extremely careful.

RIP, this coulda been any one of us.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Bike/ped signage in the area has been missing/damaged for years. Parking near path crossing should be regulated. If I parked in a lane on 205, you bet I’d be moved quicker than one week. Maintenance seems to be a series of folks looking the other way.