Special gravel coverage

Popular high school teacher killed while riding in Vancouver, WA (Updated)

Posted by on September 16th, 2009 at 10:22 am

Update: A candlelight vigil for Gordon Patterson will be held at 8pm on Thursday, September 17th at Hudson’s Bay High School (map).

NE 41st and St Johns in Vancouver
(See street view at end of story)

A teacher at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver, Washington was killed in a hit and run yesterday around 4pm while riding his bicycle through the intersection of Saint Johns and NE 41st St in Vancouver.

The Columbian is reporting that the victim was Gordon Patterson, 60, a well-liked technology teacher at the high school.

Eighteen year old Antonio Eugene Cellestine has been arrested and booked on felony hit and run charges at the Clark County jail.

The Oregonian reports that Patterson was thrown onto the hood of the sedan that hit him and “carried some distance before falling onto the sidewalk.” The suspect then allegedly fled the wrong way down a one-way street, pursued by witnesses. Police found the car abandoned a few blocks away, and later yesterday arrested Cellestine at his apartment.

The Columbian spoke with witnesses who said they heard no screeching brakes and did not see the car slow down during the crash. Vancouver police suspect that distracted driving was a factor in the crash. The paper also reports that neighbors consider this stretch of road to be a particularly dangerous one.

Candles and flowers have already begun appearing near the site of Patterson’s death, many left by his students. We’ve learned that a group of students and local bike activists are planning to put a ghost bike at the intersection.

Here is a street view of the section of road where the crash occurred:

View Larger Map

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  • amos September 16, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Rest in Peace, Gordon. Our thoughts are with your friends and family.

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  • Allan September 16, 2009 at 11:01 am

    ugh. not happy news. this seems worse than average for some reason. i wonder if we’ll find out there was some texting going on. Rest In Peace.

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  • Joe September 16, 2009 at 11:08 am

    RIP bike friend!

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  • TimF September 16, 2009 at 11:10 am

    I generally ride SB on St. John’s in the evening (which has less traffic than NB that time of day) but I wouldn’t describe that section of road as ‘particularly dangerous’ compared to other roads in Vancouver/Clark County. St. Johns on the south side of SR500 is worse. Inexperienced teen drivers (with cell phones/Ipods/etc?) are a danger to bicyclists anywhere. Condolences to the family.

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  • Joe Rowe September 16, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I’m not calling for socialism, but society needs to provide for his surviving family members, partner and even extra funding for his school, who would have had a lot of help from Gordon over the next 40 years of his life.

    The perpetrator and family need to pay back in money what the family can never regain.

    This could be me or any of my friends who also teach and commute. I’m sad and would like to hope there is justice.

    I very much appreciate the authorities who tracked down the driver. He could have gotten away with this and killed again, as often happens when there are no consequences for people who have bad driving habits.

    We need higher taxes for schools and police. It’s all connected.

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  • Amy September 16, 2009 at 11:20 am

    RIP Mr. P.
    You were amazing. I ride my bike on the road and it scares me. Cars fly at 40+ mph.

    this really hurts.

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  • Steve B. September 16, 2009 at 11:24 am

    RIP, a sad day.

    It is a relief that they actually caught the driver. How can Portlanders support Vancouver cycling, infrastructure improvement, and enforcement?

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  • Ena September 16, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I live just a few blocks away from where this accident occurred and ride this stretch of road many times per week.

    I went down to the scene last evening and spoke to an officer about how we can get people to slow down on St.James/John roads.
    He brushed me off and said they were doing all they could.
    Somehow I don’t believe that.

    My deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Mr. Patterson.

    I never thought I’d ever say this, but cell phones and driving is a very bad combination. I for one, will be leaving my phone out of reach when I get in the car.

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  • Ena September 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    One more thing!

    To #5…Amy, I live on St. James Rd. where I see folks going 60+ on a daily basis.

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  • Joe September 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    simple they post 40mph, people push 10 over
    everytime! again very sad day.

    This happens in my town! cell drivers, speeders and cops always say they cant do anything! I say yield to life. car people are just so outta control these days.

    be safe all. god speed Gordon

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  • Amy September 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    the only thing i can think of is talk to the city of Vancouver about this.
    I would love to set up a memorial bike ride.
    Vancouver is a really scary place to ride your bike in even though it is across the river from Portland. Whole new world.

    Sometimes I don’t understand why drivers can spot a pedestrian but not a cyclist.
    i wish they would design bike paths/routes in vancouver instead of having us ride next to cars that have a need for speed.

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  • Ira September 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I commute the same route 4 days a week at or near the same time of day.

    Such a tragedy, we need to do everything we can, to ensure we make it a safer place to ride.

    My condolences to his family and friends.

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  • Amy September 16, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    sometimes it’s scary when drivers slow down too because when they do, they immediately speed up when they swerve around.

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  • JL September 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Wow, that’s pretty scary. I always find going up the hill there much worse from a safety perspective, probably because the speed differential going north is so much greater than heading south. At least going down the hill I can maintain a speed closer to that of the cars. The hill’s too steep for me to maintain a pace other than crawling going uphill.

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  • Ira September 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    FYI Amy,

    I think youir memorial ride idea is great, I sent a letter to the President of the Vancouver Bicycle Club to hopefully try and set something up.

    It woudl be monumental and touching if we could actually do this and have a huge turnout.

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  • Amy September 16, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    there is a candle light vigil at Hudson’s Bay High School courtyard at 8PM. anyone can come.

    is anyone planning to set a up a Ghost Bike as well?

    Ira, that is awesome. Thank you for that.

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  • Disastronaut September 16, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Pictures of mangled bikes always make me cringe.

    And another thing – it ceases to be an “accident” once you flee the scene.

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  • Dave H September 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve never biked that area, but I used to have to drive it a bit for work. The Vancouver Police did seem to set up speed traps quite a bit (usually just over the top of a hill farther along the road) yet people regularly would be passing me (while I was going 40), past the police officer, and not get ticketed.

    I’m not sure much could be done without rebuilding the street to make it safer, other than stricter enforcement of speed limits on that stretch. Maybe sequenced traffic lights that make drivers stop if they’re going faster than the sequence.

    Either way, I hate reading about incidents like this. I can’t imagine how someone can drive away from someone they just hit.

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  • Ira September 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    A friend of the familiy is asking if they have any objections to a ride in Gordon’s honor as soon as I hear back I will post it, in additon to any response from VBC.

    He seemd to feel this was a great idea as well Amy.

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  • Amy September 16, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Oh, the candlelight vigil is at 8PM tomorrow, not tonight.
    bring candles, spread the word if you can.

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  • Stig September 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Would be interesting if someone were to rent a radar detector and record some average speeds. Maybe shoot some video for youtube and shame the city into doing something about this.

    The suspect is wearing makeup in his mugshot. I wonder if he was applying it at the time!

    Why don’t bike lanes have bumps on the divider to give an audible warning to cars that they are crossing lanes? We have them on highways to would help prevent inattentive drivers from drifting over.

    RIP Mr. Patterson

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  • Dabby September 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I ride this road all the time, and while traffic moves faster than the speed limit, the bike lane is very wide, and it is a very safe place to ride.

    With that being said, this is quite a tragedy, obviously.

    I live right by Hudson’s Bay school, where the majority of driving offenders are the students themselves, often driving the wrong way on the roads for short distances to enter or exit the school.

    I should hope that the school would use this tragedy to further educate young Vancouver drivers on how to deal with cyclists on the road.

    Not to mention the bad habits of Vancouverite’s of parking in the bike lanes to watch sporting events. This means the cyclists are forced into lanes of traffic, especially along Mill Plain at the freeway on and off ramps.

    I am sure that the standard “I didn’t see him” excuse will result in a very easy sentence, or even simple fine, for this 18 year old driver, especially here in Vancouver.

    I must close by adding that the complacency of the city council, and the VBC, has added to the dangers of riding in Vancouver.

    Our city and the VBC has decided that a helmet law based on fear of liability is all the protection and changes that cyclists here need.

    What we need is actual enforcement, and actual penalties for improper conduct.

    Which we have none of here in Vancouver…

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  • Dabby September 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Bumps in bike lanes stripes, or rumble strips as the are called, would cause many inexperienced cyclists to crash, which would throw them possibly into the lane of traffic…

    I suspect this is exactly why they are not used, or should not be.

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  • sean September 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    thank you dabby my thoughts exactly especially on the helmet issue

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  • Jesse Miller September 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I see people all of the time talking, texting, reading news papers, putting on makeup, and eating big-macs while driving. I saw this guy the other day holding onto the steering wheel with one hand and texting on his Blackberry with the other. This guy was so busy texting that he did not look at the road for 2 minutes. The point that I am trying to make is that being on a bicycle is more dangerous than it has ever been. People have forgotten how to drive. People would rather do other things while in the car than drive. The more portable technology advances, the more dangerous it is going to be for people who ride bicycles. The IPHONE is a perfect example of portable technology. You can watch movies, listen to music and surf the internet all on a device that fits into your pocket. Cars and the Iphone do not match. I feel sorry for this person. I bet he had a wife and kids. Now they are going to have to live without their father around.

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  • Dennis September 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    this was a man that touched the lives of people, on a daily basis. He was respected by his students, co-workers, and loved by his family. Now, he’s gone, in a moment of carelessness.

    This could have been, any of us. Remember that.

    the sorrow aside, changes need to be made, to this neighborhood. Just three blocks south, of where this incident took place, is another memorial, to two teenagers that spun out, and crashed into the siding, killing both of them.

    As for myself, I live on Saint James road (the southbound section). I’ve had a car land in my yard, I have seen an SUV flip three times and slide right up in front of my house. My neighbor had his car door hit, while entering his vehicle. Countless people have lost pets on these roads.

    the root of the issue, is drivers speed, and lack of attention. People are passing through the neighborhood from places beyond, and using it as a thoroughfare. Traffic needs to be slowed enough, to deter drivers passing through the neighborhood.

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  • FB September 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    As i walked the halls in hudsons bay today looking around and seeing a sea of white, i realized how empty it was. The staff there did an amazing job at helping students get out and have time to themselves or have time to go talk to someone else. Its amazing what a family like bay can do when we all pull together for one particular cause. Mr.patterson never knew my first name, infact just this week he learned i was a sibling of one of his past students. He automatically loved me! He will be greatly missed, especially once the silence sets in. As for the antonio, the hardest thing in life is to forgive someone. Many of us current eagles and previous eagles knew antonio and though you may not think he deserves to live because of this tragedy, put yourselves in his position. 18 even though said to be a legal adult is still a child. I feel for both mr.p’s family and antonio for they will both carry this around with them for the rest of their lives.
    Rest in peace P. I love you in a positive sorta way<3

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  • ilya September 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    May the force be with you Ben

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  • Kt September 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    +1 Disastronaut, #16.

    Re: Memorial Ride: Besides organizing a formal memorial ride, also as many of you who can, ride to the memorial tomorrow night.

    The ‘Couv is a fir piece for me, being in the Southern Suburbs, but I’ll be sending my thoughts that way.

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  • Daniel Ronan September 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    This story really hits me hard. Everyone has lost in this “accident.” The teacher, the driver, everyone.

    Although I say I would have stayed after hitting someone, I could definitely imagine being so scared as to run away from my mistake.

    What saddens me the most is that we build communities like this, these communities of high stakes. This 18 year old now has this to deal with for the rest of his life.

    When are we going to prevent these “accidents” from happening by discouraging car use? Especially in younger age groups.

    Although this is a sad day for all, I think this tragic even, if nothing better has once again prompted us to focus on communities that we strive for: communities that are safe and equitable for all, no matter one’s transportation mode.

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  • WC September 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    The student that hit Mr. P knew him. He was a former student. Although this is a horrible tragedy, anyone that knew Mr. P also knows that he would forgive Antonio. He was a man of great faith. I hope everyone will take this opportunity to learn from this terrible loss. Please , please, PLEASE pay attention when you drive.

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  • Joe Rowe September 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Sounds like this is no “accident”. I’m a teacher and there are some very wonderful students with mental instabilities. This is the cost when we don’t fund schools. My friend is a school psychologist spread between 3 different schools, with a total population of well over 1500. That is neglect from our politicians and it has caused this in one way or another.

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  • Elly Blue September 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Just a reminder, everyone, to please maintain civility when discussing this awful tragedy.

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  • Ethan September 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I’d not put money on Vancouverstan leaving a ghost bike alone.

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  • Rex September 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Why didn’t the driver stop?

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  • Dabby September 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I think the religiously(lol) based and antiquated idea of “forgiving” someone who does something like this is just ridiculous.

    I suppose you would like the courts to give him a light sentence, as he has already paid enough mentally through anguish?

    Maybe we will all get a nice seat in “heaven”, for forgiving him?

    Or, he could be held as an example to other drivers, and prosecuted to the largest extent of the law.

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  • wsbob September 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    “Sounds like this is no “accident”.” Joe Roe

    Given the information available about this tragic incident to date, why would you say that? Because of Dave’s comment #32 immediately before yours?

    Nothing yet has been reported that would indicate the driver deliberately drove his car into Hudson’s Bay High School teacher Gordon Patterson as rode his bike. A criminal record and former enrollment in the high school where Mr. Patterson taught school is not enough to responsibly insinuate what the suspect did or didn’t do.

    The cops are on this one. The truth about what happened and why, based on facts, will likely be known soon enough.

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  • Amy September 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    dabby don’t be like that.

    i am really pissed at the man that hit him but we cant be pissed forever.

    Cellestine’s already an example to other drivers, cyclists and non cyclists.
    kinda sucks that it takes this to change something

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  • tayler stettler September 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    i am a current student at bay and walking through the hall of Mr. Pattersens classroom was depressing.posters were posted for all students and staff to sign for Mr.P.I dont personally know Mr. Pattersen but losing a beloved teacher is a tragety and the staff at bay is doing a wonderful job making sure students are getting the help they need.Mr.Pattersen was a wonderful teacher.He stood outside his classroom everyday greeting student as they walked past.In all i think this is one horrific tragety that no one will ever forget. We all love you and will miss you Mr. Pattersen

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  • Amy September 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    stand at the scene and observe how the drivers drive. most of the time the drivers swerve into the bike lane.

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  • Joe Rowe September 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I had posted a comment thanking the police sometime within the first 10 comments. The Bikeportland spam filters put it on hold.

    It’s hard for me to believe that someone would hit and run if they were not at fault.

    These are all assumptions. There are many reasons this may not be an accident, aka sounds like, aka there is the possibility.

    a) Driver was distracted by electronics, ipod, talking on cell, texting, etc

    b) Driver has a record

    c) Witness statements said no skid marks etc.

    d) Student ( who killed teacher ) with car may have had needs that the school and society could not meet. A tragedy that is preventable is not an accident.

    e) While it is an assumption, I’m a teacher and I’ve seen students who sought out multiple teachers with violence outside of school. It is usually one or multiple students targeting multiple teachers. I’ve never seen it with one student targeting just one teacher.

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  • sam September 16, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    My heart goes out to all the students at Bay. I remember a couple of sudden, senseless deaths when I was in high school – you’re going along feeling sort of grown up and mixed up like you’re supposed to and then suddenly everything is fragile and the air feels different. Tell your friends you love them in whatever way works for you.

    RIP, Mr. Patterson.

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  • Afro Biker September 16, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Someone dies and somebody here is already talking about raising taxes?

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  • kww September 16, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Could someone please tell me why a hit and run killer isn’t charged with vehicular murder?

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  • Stig3 September 16, 2009 at 6:54 pm


    He was hit from behind in the bike lane and people are stating it happens routinely.

    I still think rumble strips are a good idea to keep motorists from swerving across the bike lanes. I’d expect them to be the appropriate size and tested for safety before deployment.

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  • W.C. September 16, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    After reading all of the comments here I have just a few thoughts:

    Does it really matter where this tragedy happened? People speed, text, eat, and do just about anything but pay attention while driving. These are things that should be dealt with everyday, not just when someone like Mr. Patterson dies due to carelessness. We should never loose our vision for safe streets, but is this the place to go off on try to point blame? NO! Show some respect to Mr Patterson and his family and students.

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  • buzz September 16, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    RIP Gordon!

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  • Sarah September 16, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Mr. Patterson,
    I will never, ever forget you. You were like a father to me, especially after my dad left. Thank you for always taking care of me. Even when I was little you made a difference in my life. In the future I always thought that you would be at my wedding with your family. You meant so much to me, and you always will.

    Thank you for taking me under your wing and making a difference whenever you got the chance. Now it’s my turn, and you can be sure that I will take care of Julia now that you’re with Jesus.

    I miss you,

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  • Joe Rowe September 16, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    I know some people want websites to be just about the notes for goodbye and RIP.

    But the dead can’t speak out for the injustice that killed them. If I was able to speak from the dead after being killed on a bike by any means my words would be to allow everyone to speak whatever they need to speak and keep the focus on respect for what is still living in the world.

    And if I was dead, and there was anything fishy, like a hit-and-run, I’d be asking people to make a big old stink about it, and try to prevent it in the future.

    To a fellow teacher and cyclist I never knew, RIP

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  • Amy September 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    A friend/former student made a website dedicated to him


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  • wsbob September 16, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Joe Rowe, your #31 statement “Sounds like this is no “accident”.” may to you, seem to adequately convey a sense that, in your words from comment #42 “These are all assumptions. There are many reasons this may not be an accident, aka sounds like, aka there is the possibility.”

    For others reading here, I don’t think your #31 statement did adequately convey the sense that some kind of intentional act was at that point, only one possible reason for the collision. So thanks for clearing that up.

    kww #45: murder means an intentional act. Is it yet known that the driver intentionally ran over Mr. P.? You might find the following links helpful for a better understanding of what constitutes murder:

    wikipedia article Vehicular Homicide

    Chapter 9A.32 RCW Homicide statutes Washington State


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  • Todd Boulanger September 17, 2009 at 12:46 am

    I took a drive out there today to refresh my memory of this arterial couplet (Staints Johns and James).

    The striping is fresh from the annual maintenace work (even the stencil near the intersection). This corridor is a mismash of old large lot county residential lots (1930-1980s) high density pocket subdivisions with city community commercial shops and apartments. Sidewalks and off arterial street grid options do not exist out here – the bike lane leading to this intersection functions as a walking lane too.

    This zone is actually much worse for pedestrians trying to cross streets between signalized marked crosswalks (~1000 ft) for on street parking or bus stops.

    This couplet arterial used to be an even greater barrier to bikes and peds 5 plus years ago before the recent bike lane, fog line and infill sidewalks along commercial areas.

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  • Todd Boulanger September 17, 2009 at 1:05 am

    For west side bicyclists this is the primary north bound route if you want bike lanes all the way. Topography and poor historical street layout makes this the prime route for all travellers (ped bike bus cars).

    What could make this a better street in the future for the community:
    – speed enforcement along with a calmed traffic speed (important due to poor walking facilities), perhaps as part of a future state funded safety corridor;
    – complete streets with pedestrian grid links north south;
    – simplified lane layout (one way single lane road diet with buffered bike lane/ bike tracks and in street sidewalks, roundabouts to minimize racing traffic streams);
    – parking changes (remove on street parking or adapt as calming device with backin diagonal zones for only commercial zones);
    – reinforce bike lanes thru intersections with dashed lanes where needed (like Eugene) or RPMs (uphill sections only and with BAC approval);
    – check signal timing to moderate speeds through zone
    – check street lighting for crossings

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  • Amy September 17, 2009 at 1:09 am

    even if the speed was lowered – accidents can still happen.
    if they put a median to separate bike lanes that would be cool but i don’t know how that would work out for cars turning right

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  • FotoDork September 17, 2009 at 2:31 am

    I am a former student from Bay. I never had a class with Mr.P but got high fives daily. He was a wonderful teacher that helped so many kids. He had a wonderfully silly vocabulary including such famous lines as “word to your mother”. I live a few blocks from the crash sight and my Dad and Brother actually drove by shortly after the medics arrived, the street was not closed off yet. I drove by for the first time today and had to pull over shortly after because the tears started pouring. There were kids out and dressed in white to honor Mr.P who ALWAYS wore a white lab coat at school. Candles and flowers and pictures and ballons, it was a beautiful sight. He will be greatly missed.
    My heart goes out to his wife and three kids.

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  • Faraz September 17, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Awful story. My guess is the driver was probably texting and drifted into him. The driver probably saw him and thought, “Oh he must be safe in that bike lane and I have full confidence in my abilities to drive in a straight line while multi-tasking “. Sadly this happens all too often, hence my opposition to bike lanes…

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  • […] Popular high school teacher killed while riding in Vancouver, WA (Updated) […]

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  • AviationMetalSmith September 17, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Mr. Patterson was struck from behind. They say that being struck from behind is not how most fatal bicycle accidents happen, but it was this time.
    Yes, I can ride a bicycle and look ahead, and look left and right, but I don’t have eyes in the back of my head. So I bought a rear-view mirror. Now, it’s not mandatory for a bicycle to have a rear-view mirror, but no one can sneak up behind me anymore.
    The fact is, motorists are supposed to watch where they are going.
    I hope the Judge gives the driver the maximum. It would be a waste of taxpayers money to paint the bike lanes if vehicular homicide laws are not enforced. I don’t think it would fill up the prison system either, because other motorists will think about the jail-time, before driving in the bike lane. It won’t be a joke anymore.
    My condolences to Mr.Patterson’s family.

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  • Dave September 17, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Maybe we need a return to a technique of Puritan New England–the stocks! Lock Celestine in for 30 days at the site of his homicide.

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  • Friend September 17, 2009 at 8:58 am

    The full measure of this tragedy will only truly be felt by those who loved Mr. Patterson and whose missing presence on this earth will affect them forever. The spin that this tragedy is taking on this forum is becoming sad and biased. Unfortunate. Good changes may be proactively reached using good principles and efforts.

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  • chelsea September 17, 2009 at 9:11 am

    I am saddened by this death, and shocked at the drivers who continue to think that it’s okay to do anything besides pay attention to the damned road when they are behind the wheel. This incident needs to be used as an example for distracted drivers everywhere. I would love to see PSA’s and other educational activities, as well as increased enforcement for bad driving. Why are people so stupid/short sighted? One second is all it takes to kill with a car! And some people just don’t take that seriously until they do it.

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  • Todd Boulanger September 17, 2009 at 9:36 am

    For any Portlanders coming up to the vigil tonight – ‘Bay’ high school is about a 10 minute ride over the Interstate Bridge.

    Suggested bike lane route: north on Columbia, right on 8th St, left on C street, right on McLoughlin Blvd.

    The fun route via the Fort: left off of the Bridge, left under the rail portal to the old apple tree park (across from Joes Crab Shack/ Who Songs), right up across the Land Bridge then follow trail north, left on 5th St, right up the hill to the rotary, take second leg north to Ft Vancouver Way, right on McLoughlin.

    Trimet buses #8, #6, #4, MAX will get you close to the Vancouver border then you ride. If you take the MAX or 6 then you can transfer to the CTRAN#4 (get off at McLoughlin).

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  • peejay September 17, 2009 at 9:55 am

    It’s entirely obvious to me — and this is just one example — that 16-20 year-olds do not have the adult decision making ability to operate a machine that has the potential to kill. Not that anyone older than 20 is really an adult, but the statistics do bear out.

    The problem is that most of our communities — Vancouver being a prime example — are designed assuming teens drive. It would be great if that age cohort all had to rely on bikes before being granted the privilege to drive. They’d be better and more considerate drivers after the experience, and greater numbers of them would likely keep riding through their adulthood.

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  • peejay September 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Change the “Not that anyone older than 20…” to “Not that everyone older than 20…”

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  • kitty September 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    i hate this street. i grew up in that area, and always avoid the street when riding or driving. Speed limit it too high for such a dense area.

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  • Dave September 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Why are old fashioned speed traps a bad idea? The blocks between St. Johns and St. James (it’s southbound twin) have a mix of uses, plenty of buildings, brush, and parking areas to hide a police officer in a car, on foot, on a motorcycle or whatever. You could have more timing equipment in there than the Bonneville Salt Flats and more cameras than a Hollywood social function. The only reason to not set this up is that tickets are too cheap–if the fines were high enough, the program could turn a profit for the city or county. My suggestion would be for the fine for speeding be equal to the average year’s rent or residential mortgage payments in the area, say $5000.00 to $18,000. A speeding ticket should be a serious financial harship for the violator–can you say “deterrent,” boys and girls? Try it, “Deterrent.”

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  • amos September 17, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    If you would like to ride to the vigil from Portland meet at the Max Expo Center stop. Leave from there at 7:30.

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  • Ira September 17, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Looks like a memorial ride may be a pipe dream, other than a few folks here, I have not received a response from VBC or anyone else with the background or capacity to help, out.

    Thanks to those here who offered.

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  • Dabby September 17, 2009 at 8:10 pm


    Simply post here a reasonable time and date that you want the ride to happen.
    Email Jonathan Maus here at Bike Portland the info, and I am sure he will publish a post about it (or maybe Elly will).

    I personally have lead many rides, not to mention memorial rides. I would be happy to lead this one.

    I do feel that, in difference to the candle light vigil, a memorial ride should be a celebration of the lost ones love of cycling, not a somber reminder of death, persay.

    This one would however involve a lot of teenagers or younger, which would need a little more guidance with intersections and such…

    Feel free to contact me:

    I would not rely on the help of the VBc for much of anything on this note, really….. Sorry to say.

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  • vantucky matthew September 17, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    just rode home from the vigil, yes it did have some somber moments but it was more like a pep rally. truly a celebration of a life larger than most. he impacted a huge amount of lives. a memorial ride would be fitting. dabby… i’d rather not see you there, it ain’t about you. or chest thumping or pointing fingers. from what i gathered from the vigil gordon would have been one of the first to forgive the driver. we all make mistakes… it’s what makes us human. i didn’t know gordon personally but did recognize him from the summer concert series at esther short park. he didn’t use the bike parking racks the “bike me” folks set up but kinda hung around that area. my friend brian thought he looked like george lucas. he seemed like a nice guy. a close friend taught with him at “bay” for a time. the world seems to have too few people like gordon and sadly there is one less.

    “I LOVE YOU… in a positive sorta way” gordon patterson 1949-2009

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  • Dabby September 18, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Well Matthew,

    Excluding people, as you suggest you should me, is one huge way of chest thumping and finger pointing, as you put it.

    Which is one thing I am not about at all.

    Perhaps you should practice what you preach…..

    I, for one certainly knew who Gordon was, having spent many formidable years in this town….

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  • Jim B September 18, 2009 at 11:40 am

    I just found out about Mr Patterson’s death I am sad and shocked. I was a student of his at the now gone Lewis Jr High in vancouver, 1984, 1985. He gave me and my best friend Pat our first job ,helping him remodel his parents bathroom in Nassel Wa. I will always remember him. I owe him so much for who I am today. He was a modern day Saint, Gordon did not care who you were or where you came from. He genuinly loveed all of the people he knew and met.When Lewis Jr high closed I was so sad that i had to go to anouther school than his. To his wife and children i send my love and thanks for being blessed enough to have known Gordon. Rest in Heaven Mr Patterson. I love You…..

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  • Your Friendly Yiddish Translation Service September 18, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Re Commenter Dave #32:

    FYI, “fagelahs” is Yiddish for “faggots”. It’s a derogatory term, although with perhaps a little less of the sting of the English translation.

    Nonetheless, gievn the need to edit the post once for derogatory language, it’s possible it should just be edited to obivion in its entirety.

    “Subliterates” really isn’t terribly humanzing either.

    Thanks for the translation, and for pointing that out. This is definitely a good example of post that should be moderated more heavily — which I regret not doing at the time. My instinct is to let it stand now, as it hasn’t sparked a flame war (thanks everyone) and it seems defused enough to have no teeth. But I’m open to feedback. — Elly

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  • Hayden September 18, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Mr.P, you were what made us kids want to go to school everyday. You will be very very missed.

    You will always be our jedi in our hearts, no matter what.

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  • wsbob September 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Comment #74:

    I think it was good that you brought this up. When I first read that word a couple days ago, I was suspicious about its meaning, but didn’t follow it up other than to check the WordWeb dictionary; not the most comprehensive dictionary by any means. Figured bikeportland’s editors would take care of it if it was inappropriately used.

    I can’t see anything much positive to be gained by allowing that word to used in response to this thread’s subject the way it was by commenter Dave #32. Not everyone reading here is unfamiliar with Jewish terms. Those that are will see that the commenter has been allowed to indiscriminately use that word to insult and humiliate Vancouver’s police officers, while everyone else commenting on this site using more conventional terms is generally and reasonably so, not allowed to do similarly.

    Bob, you’ve convinced me. I deleted the comment. Thanks. — Elly

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  • Klaus September 19, 2009 at 8:32 am

    This is a dangerous section on that road, because of the following:
    1.) The road makes a slight turn to the left.
    2.) The car lane seems to narrow.
    3.) The bike lane transitions from being on the right next to the curb to being sandwiched between a shoulder strip and the right car lane.
    In that transition process the bike lane makes a slight left turn that is a tad more than the car lane.

    I can see it is easy for a car to drift to the right into the bike lane if you don’t pay much attention. I think a thoughtful restriping (maybe a cross striped bufferzone in the road bend) would help.

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  • middle of the road guy September 19, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Perhaps the word “Vantucky” should also be removed.

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  • Smiley September 24, 2009 at 9:48 am

    dude.. wtf … what antonio did was not on perpose……… okay, he made a mistake… AND HE DOES NOT WEAR MAKE UP.. i have known him for years, as well as mr.patterson………… alot of people speed in that spot… Antonio has the most pretty eyes i have ever seen on a guy before!!!… Mr. P was amazingg. And it was tragic that he died… but alot of people speed there…. Antonio has to live with that the rest of his life….. and i think its pretty messed up if everyone is so against him, thats another teen life that EVERYONE can help but are choosing to be against him…… idk… but i think that it was a bigg mistake.
    <33 rip P!

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  • […] man who hit and killed Vancouver high school teacher Gordon Patterson as he rode his bicycle in a bike lane along St. […]

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  • […] Cellestine was sentenced to 5 years in prison for driving his car into 50-year old Gordon Patterson back in September. A commenter who was at the hearing today, said Cellestine’s attorney plea bargained with the […]

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