Mayor's committee: No ugly suicide barriers on Golden Gate Bridge
It's a bad idea to build 10-foot-tall railings and glass panels as suicide barriers on the Golden Gate Bridge, according to a committee organized by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
The five-member group recommended today that the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District choose "non-physical" solutions to preventing suicides on the span.
For the most part, that means extra people - mostly volunteers - patrolling the bridge to talk down possible jumpers.
If that's not good enough for the bridge authority, the mayor's committee says a net beneath the bridge would be the least offensive option. That position was also supported by voters in an unscientific online poll in July.
Committee members included private architects, bridge engineers and artists.
God forbid there be anybody on the committee who was a psychiatrist, or an anti-suicide activist, or an expert on depression, or anything like that.
You want to know what the "ugly" barriers would look like? How bad the "ruined" view would be? Well, here's one view:
This essay was printed in the Chronicle this July. It's written by a man whose 17-year-old daughter committed suicide from the bridge earlier this year. It does a good job of addressing and refuting the anti-barrier arguments.
Which is good, because I certainly can't — I wind up in a state of spluttering with rage too quickly to say much that's coherent. "Fuck you and your view, and I hope you're haunted by the ghosts of every last suicide victim since the bridge was built" would not be constructive, I think, although it'd sure feel satisfying to say.