PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A Portland man is being remembered by his community after police said he was hit and killed on his bike by a suspected drunk driver exactly one month ago.

According to police, that driver is 21-year-old Nicholas Martinez. Three weeks ago, he pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, reckless driving, and DUII.

Court documents said he told officers he had been drinking before the crash.

Police say the cyclist, 32-year-old Lance Hart, died at the scene.

On Tuesday night, a couple dozen people organized a tribute at Flavel Park for Hart with a ‘Ride of Silence.’

“An event like this allows you to experience the environment in which the tragedy occurred. So you get to see, firsthand, how comfortable it is to cross the roads and maybe how it can be better,” a road safety activist, Matchu Williams said.

Williams is a volunteer with BikeLoudPDX, one of three organizations which helped set up the ride. The Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association and SouthEast in Active Motion (SEAM) also helped put on the event.

Hart’s friends said he was always smiling.

“I miss him really bad. I really do, you know,” Joe Miller said, a friend of Hart’s. “He was a really good friend.”

Hart’s roommate for the last seven years, Tom Meyer, said Hart was a passionate artist and loved transferring designs he drew onto clothing.

“He was always a happy person. He would try to bring out the best in people. He did that rather well. We got along great together,” Meyer said.

Meyer’s best friend may be gone, but he said Hart’s designs and creative energy will live on.

“He would always say we’re best friends,” Meyer said. “And we’re more than best friends, we’re like family.”

The Portland Bureau of Transportation said Southeast Flavel Street and Southeast 78th Avenue, the intersection near where the crash happened, is part of a future road safety project slated to start next summer.

Road safety advocates Tuesday night said they’re aware of the improvements, but wish they would have come sooner.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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