Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Suicide Barrier Plan is Stupid


I took this photo a couple weeks ago when I was in San Francisco. As some of you know, I am fascinated by this bridge and it's, sad & tragic, history. I wrote a novel last year about a girl driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco to jump off the bridge, but she meets someone who talks her out of it, they fall in love, but turns out, he is a ghost-he jumped, and thus needed to save her to move on. (Yes looking for an agent and to find it a home). And while up there doing some research I met a gal who was crying at marker 79...well after watching her for a while, I asked her if she was okay~she wasn't~less than 30 minutes later she was gone. I had turned around for a second and she jumped. I did call the police, but they didn't get there in time-in any case~ I hope to bring awareness to people about suicide and how it is a very serious and tragic solution to a temporary problem.
That said, after the almost year of obsession with the Golden Gate Bridge, I learned about the most moronic idea on the planet that will cost Californians 5 million dollars. A net.
Yes a net. A net. I have to keep repeating it because it is beyond stupid.
Why? You ask? Well besides the high winds, cost, ugliness of it and daredevil attraction that it will bring and actually have more people jumping-it will NOT work.
Unless they put the whole bridge into a bubble-it won't work. This is simple physics people. Given wind-and it is always windy up there, and fog, and trajectory, someone could easily miss the net. A net will also give people a false sense of "if I change my mind, the net will catch me". It will still be far enough up that after hitting the net someone could just jump from there, or get hurt in there. Stupid! Stupid!Stupid!
So I sent a letter-a couple actually- to the folks in charge of the "suicide barrier" suggesting that the best was to deter people is to just extend the fencing by about ten feet, and not even with the super strong heavy fencing. Just enough so it won't blow down, or be easily pushed through and not so strong that people can climb up it.
If I was upset and thinking about doing it, and then got up there and had to climb...it would deter me.
At the end of the day, people who are going to commit suicide are going to do it, but so many suicides are just gut reactions to situations and could be prevented.
I got an email from them today and they said while it was a good idea, the suicide net is moving forward!
How stupid.. and really? 5 million dollars? A fence wouldn't cost even half of that.

I chose this picture because I think it depicts the sadness of the bridge and the many many souls that have lost their lives there. More than the Titanic and that is just the ones we know about. The numbers could very well be more than double that making it the worst American tragedy since the Civil War.

I'm just sayin'.....fence, not net. Fence.

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