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.
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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