Last year was the deadliest year ever for suicides occurring on San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate bridge with a record 46 people jumping into the bay below.
The landmark has long been considered one of the most popular places for those seeking to end their lives, earning it its nickname, “The Suicide Magnet”!
Unlike other notorious suicide locations though, like the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate has no safety feature that prevents people from killing themselves along the bridge’s 1.7 mile span.
But that might soon change…
Officials will soon vote on whether to install a stainless steel netting system 20 feet below that would catch any and all jumpers who tried to leap off the side.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
Well, not exactly. Some say that at a cost of $66 million to install, the project is simply too expensive.
Even if it means saving DOZENS of lives??
Dayna Whitmer, a board member with the Bridge Rail Foundation says the time is NOW to get this net built. She shared her frustrations, saying:
"I know it won't be built soon, and that's the most frustrating thing about this. We hate to see any more 17-year-olds jump or 86-year-olds jump, it's just not right."
Aside from the cost of the safety net, the aesthetics of the structure also has many in the city wondering if they want this put up. The iconic bridge would no doubt have a different look to it if the installation was to go forward.
But is an eye sore really reason to not construct something that could potentially save someone’s life?
For now, city law enforcement officials plan to continue to cut down on suicides by having around the clock monitoring by police on the bridge. At any given time, two to four officers are supposedly patrolling sidewalks on bikes.
We’re sure that their presence is preventing some suicides, but what about the 46 people that managed to jump last year?
Something HAS to be done!
[Image via WENN.]