Two bridges in Washington, D.C., span the 125-foot deep Rock Creek gorge, the Ellington, famous as the "suicide bridge" with about four deaths a year, and the Taft, with fewer than two a year.
But after three people died in a 10-day period in 1985, the city erected barriers at the Ellington Bridge. Critics feared jumpers would just go to the Taft instead. But five years later, a study showed no suicides at the Ellington Bridge and no change at Taft. As a result, the overall suicide deaths went down in the nation's capital by 50 percent.
“Sticking one’s head in the oven” became so common in Britain that by the late 1950s it accounted for some 2,500 suicides a year, almost half the nation’s total.
Those numbers began dropping over the next decade as the British government embarked on a program to phase out coal gas in favor of the much cleaner natural gas. By the early 1970s, the amount of carbon monoxide running through domestic gas lines had been reduced to nearly zero. During those same years, Britain’s national suicide rate dropped by nearly a third, and it has remained close to that reduced level ever since.
"While the Luminous Veil appears to have had the intended effect of preventing suicides on the Prince Edward Viaduct, it has had no appreciable effect on the total number of suicides in Toronto."
of course this is SF, CA so that won't happen....common sense is automatically ruled out.
For the past twenty-five years, however, three hundred and fifty feet of the southern end of the bridge have been festooned with an eight-foot-tall cyclone fence, directly above the Fort Point National Park site on the shore of the Bay. This “debris fence” was erected to keep tourists from dropping things—including, at one point, bowling balls—on other tourists below. “It’s a public-safety issue,” the bridge’s former chief engineer, Mervin Giacomini, told me.
Another factor is cost, which would seem particularly important now that the Bridge District has a projected five-year shortfall of more than two hundred million dollars. Yet, in October, construction will be completed on a fifty-four-inch-high steel barrier between the walkway and the adjacent traffic lanes which is meant to prevent bicyclists from veering into traffic. No cyclist has ever been killed; nonetheless, the bridge’s chief engineer, Denis Mulligan, says that the five-million-dollar barrier was necessary: “It’s a public-safety issue.” Engineers are also considering erecting a movable median to prevent head-on collisions, at a cost of at least twenty million dollars. “It’s a public-safety issue,” Al Boro, a member of the Bridge District’s board of directors, said to me.
All transport 114
In the seven years before the NFA (1989-1995), the average annual firearm suicide death rate per 100,000 was 2.6 (with a yearly range of 2.2 to 2.9); in the seven years after the buyback was fully implemented (1998-2004), the average annual firearm suicide rate was 1.1 (yearly range 0.8 to 1.4).
P(fail|hg) = P(hg|fail)P(fail)/P(hg)
= (0.8 * 0.1) / [P(hg|fail)P(fail) + P(hg|success)P(success)]
= 0.08 / [0.08 + (??? * 0.9)]
Seiden’s conclusion was that many suicides are the result of impulsive thoughts—“I want to jump off that bridge”—and if you can stop that one action, you can save potential victims from suicide for the rest of their lives. People do not become inherently “suicidal;” they have times where they feel suicidal.
And yet, since 1999, there has been a consistent annual increase in suicides all the way up to the end of 2013—and there’s no sign of slowing. What’s different now?
« Older Yes, there’s cumbia in Brazil!... | Slow Life:... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt