Golden Gate Bridge board to vote
on suicide barrier study
By James Lanaras, Bay City News
March 10, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The Golden Gate Bridge Highway and
Transportation District's board of directors will vote again today
on plans for a proposed suicide deterrent system on the bridge.
A board advisory committee last month approved proceeding with
a phased approach to a $2 million, two-year study on a physical
barrier that could prevent people from jumping from the famous
The board is scheduled to vote on that recommendation today.
A year ago, the board approved going ahead with the engineering
and environmental study as non-district funding becomes available.
So far, $125,000 from Marin County and San Francisco has been
received in local matching funds that allow the district to access
$500,000 of the $1.6 million granted by the Metropolitan Transportation
Commission for the study.
That means the district will have $625,000 for the first phase
of the study project. The district still needs an additional $275,000
in local matching funds for the full $2 million study.
The district estimates it would take four months to receive and
review requests for proposals on the study, to select a consultant
and negotiate and award a contract. The first phase of the project
would then take six more months.
The focus of the first phase of a two-phased study would be to
identify generic conceptual designs for testing and to determine
the design's impact on the bridge's overall wind stability.
Wind tunnel tests would analyze the impacts of having a barrier
installed either with or without a median barrier in place.
The second phase of the project would include a full environmental
and historical preservation analysis, community outreach and input
and a preliminary design of the preferred alternative and a cost
estimate of the project.
The district's board of directors identified about a dozen criteria
for a suicide prevention system. The suicide barrier must impede
the ability of an individual to jump from the bridge, must not
cause safety or nuisance hazards to sidewalk users, must not interfere
with security on the bridge and must have minimal visual and aesthetic
impacts on the famous span from which 1,218 people have leapt
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