Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Golden Gate Bridge

I drive over the Golden Gate Bridge almost everyday. The scenery is so beautiful it's hard to keep your eyes on the road. When driving over the bridge you are either behind a site seer going 5 MPH, or a frightened person who is so scared to go over the bridge they just stop or an Asian driver and, well, I don’t need to explain that one. The bridge seems to have it's own weather, as if it were it's own city. Some days the bridge is covered with fog and you cannot even see it, others it very clear, sometimes it’s so windy you can feel the bridge swaying. It’s always a different weather pattern on the bridge. It' always a different story but I have to say it's one of the most amazing man made structures I have ever seen.

The Golden Gate Bridge turned 70 years old this past Monday. The Golden Gate Bridge was open to pedestrians and to automobiles on May 28th 1937. The original toll for the bridge one way was only 50 cents and $1 roundtrip. Today it cost $5.00 to cross the bride. The construction began on the bridge on January 5th 1933; it took a little over 4 years to complete. While it was being constructed a net was devised to help cut down on the causalities of the construction workers building the bridge, eleven workers died and 19 were saved due to the net suspended under the shell of the bridge.

When crossing the bridge it doesn’t really look like that far of a jump but it would be a 220-foot jump from the bridge into the water. 99% of the people that do jump off the bridge die instantly due to the impact or drown from the strong current. It’s said that jumpers are going 75 miles per hour when they hit the water. There are only 26 known people that have jumped off the bridge and survived but all had or still have major injuries. See the crisis sign that is on the bridge below that is there to help those thinking of jumping.

The Golden Gate Bridge is he most popular man mad structure in the United States where people go to commit suicide. In 2006 there were 34 confirmed suicides that jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, those are only the confirmed jumpers, it’s estimated that many more jumped but where never found. It is estimated that a person jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge every 15 days. Amazing to think that it happens that often. Paul and I walked the bridge this past weekend and it is quite amazing. It’s a beautiful bridge to walk over and the scenery is breathtaking. I looked over the side of the bridge and it’s really hard to imagine jumping off the bridge, it really seems like you would just land in the water and be able to swim away.

If you are ever thinking of coming to San Francisco you have to come see the Golden Gate Bridge, really take a look at the construction of it, the view and all the beauty around it, THEN you can decide whether or not it's worth jumping off of it or not.


Anonymous said...

Don't Jump!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Richard Seiden, a professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Public Health and the leading researcher on suicide at the bridge, has written that studies reveal “a commonly held attitude that romanticizes suicide from the Golden Gate Bridge in such terms as aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, while regarding a Bay Bridge suicide as tacky.”"

It is too bad that Dr. Seiden spent so much time in the class room and so little time in the practical realities of life.

People jump from the Golden Gate not because of romance - but because of desperation. The choose the Golden Gate Bridge not because it is less tacky but because it has easy access and pedestrian walkways.

No other Bridge in the Bay Area has pedestrian walkways. No access no deaths.

The Directorate of the Golden Gate has managed to keep the public in the dark for over 70 years ! Only now because of the internet can the story get out -

Not only that but the GG Bridge is bankrupt - the real reason that nothing is being done to end the deaths.

Please open your eyes - and do just a little research deaths at the Golden Gate Bridge have now climbed to one a week - yes one a week and over 2,000 to date that we know of...the research and studies are unanimous - if a person is prevented from suicide 98% yes 98% never try again.

I wish the Doctor and the rest of those that spend their time talking about death on the Bridge would do less talking and more action.

While they are talking and philosophizing one person leaps off the Bridge every week.

I am a native of San Francisco and I am horrified at the inability of citizens to understand that this one mile stretch of road is killing one person and devastating their families forever while people like the good doctor write about romance and others advance their uniformed sophomoric take on death at the Golden Gate.

We are all part of the problem and this is a real tragedy and if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

Just imagine the uproar if someone were to throw a poodle off the Golden Gate once a week ...

iefbb said...

If someone threw a poodle off the bridge every week, there would be an uproar from dog lovers all over the Bay Area and the country. They would not cease until the killing was stopped.

Meanwhile, for 75 years over 2000 human beings have jumped to their death and too many citizens and leaders in San Francisco have pretty much looked away and shrugged, saying that it was " the person's own choice".

Is it OK with them that a 14 yr. old or a 17 yr. old make that "choice"? What about the man who made the "choice" to throw his child from the bridge and then himself ?

A person in a suicidal state of mind is not in their right mind, so they unable to make a rational "choice". Their condition is making the choice.
They are not at fault any more then a person who has any other illness.

How many more will die before the railing is made safe?
I hope for your sake, that it's not someone you know and love, because if it is, it will destroy your life as you know it.
I can attest to that because my 17 yr.-old daughter,
in the grips of depression, jumped off of the 4 ft. railing this January, and our lives are broken beyond any hope of repair. We wouldn't wish the pain that we endure to be experienced by our worse enemy.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a structure, a piece of engineering that has a major flaw. The railing can be climbed by almost anyone, with not too much trouble at all.

Eight or more people have jumped since my child
died. Possibly more, because the deaths aren't publicized, for fear of copycats.
And if their bodies are not recovered, they will not even be counted.
Until we grow a moral backbone, and work to make the bridge a safe place for all, someone will be losing their precious loved one to that bridge, every week or so, like clockwork.

The clock is ticking....

Anonymous said...

Watch this documentary on the GG bridge on

tittled, "THE BRIDGE"...

It's horrifying to know/see people plunge to their deaths. Knowing that people in Sac, CA. Can easily avoid this by spending the money to raise/fence up the rails. Theres nothing more deppressing knowing you're on your last strand and is ready to take your own life on a site so mesmorized with beauty.....

THE BRIDGE... search for it on

Anonymous said...

@ iefbb and pkh

Really? sounds to me like you're both blaming a bridge for your loved ones' decisions. If someone wants to commit suicide, they will, bridge or no. That is, obviously, why that Cal prof. you quote asks the questions he asked: he's not interested in why someone commits suicide, he's asking why the GG is so popular.

As far as action is concerned, perhaps your efforts would be better spent attempting to remedy something that is relevant -- like the causes of suicide (depression, bipolar, etc), instead of a detail (location) that's of little consequence to the would-be suicide, once they've decided to end it all.

think, people.

Anonymous said...

@ iefbb

the bridge isn't responsible for your child's death. your child is. end of story.