Target: Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board President James C. Eddie
Goal: Thank officials for approving funding for a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge
Each year people end their lives by leaping from San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge into the icy waters below. Following public outcry officials have finally approved a $76 million funding package to create a suicide barrier for the bridge. The majority of the cost will be covered by federal funds, bridge toll revenues and a $7 million pledge from the state of California.
The plan to build a barrier on the popular bridge was recommended by family members who lost their loved ones to suicide, long before the board voted to build the net in 2008. The problem of funding was resolved in 2012 when President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that declared construction of safety barriers an acceptable use of federal funds. A previous petition on ForceChange also urged action to prevent future deaths.
The board explored various design possibilities to stop people from jumping, including a tall wire fence and a laser beam to zap individuals attempting to climb over the bridge’s railing, but these were deemed unsafe. Only one idea kept resurfacing again and again–a safety net–which is ultimately what district officials settled on.
The Golden Gate Bridge is widely recognized as the scene of frequent suicides in the United States, and is one of the most well known-suicide sites in the whole world. Over 1,500 individuals have committed suicide by jumping off the bridge since it opened in 1937, according to the Huffington Post.
Many people hope that the presence of a safety net will deter people from jumping to their deaths. Thank the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board for approving funding for a net to prevent suicides at the iconic landmark.
Dear Mr. Eddie,
Suicide is a huge problem that claims the lives of thousands of people every year. More than 1,500 people have committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge since it first opened to the public. Over the years, the bridge has become a destination for people wanting to end their lives. This is hardly the image you want the world to have of this beautiful bridge
Thank you for approving funding for a suicide barrier. I hope that this net will serve as a deterrent for any individuals who decide to go to the bridge to end their lives, and that this moment’s hesitation can help them choose life instead.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alec Perkins via Wikimedia Commons