Preventing Suicides at the Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge
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Preventing Suicides at the Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge. May 2006. Purpose of our meeting. Discuss: Strategies for addressing suicides at the bridge Rescue and recovery operations: Commander Dominick Palera, County Sheriff’s Department

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Preventing Suicides at the Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge

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Preventing Suicides at the Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge

May 2006


Purpose of our meeting

Discuss:

  • Strategies for addressing suicides at the bridge

  • Rescue and recovery operations: Commander Dominick Palera, County Sheriff’s Department

  • Understanding and preventing suicide, and how it relates to bridge jumping: Dr. Lisa Firestone, The Glendon Association

    Receive:

  • Feedback from the citizens on course of action


The Issue and Concern:

43 people have committed suicide at the bridge since it was built in 1963

31 have committed suicide since 1981

19 were aged 21-40

14 were aged 41-60

32 were male

11 were female


Further Demographic Breakdown

27 resided in southern Santa Barbara County (from Carpinteria to Goleta)

7 lived in northern Santa Barbara County (Santa Ynez Valley to Santa Maria)

9 were from various California counties


County Sheriff's Department

First contact experience

Frequency of events and call outs

Manpower and resources - cost of a rescue or recovery

The difficulty of victim recovery

Road Closure

Staff safety

Video of recent suicide attempt


Multi-functional Task Force Formed to Investigate the Issue and Identify Possible Means to Reduce SuicidesCounty Sheriff’s DepartmentCHPCaltransThe Glendon AssociationEmergency and Health ServicesFamily Service Agency/211SBCAGElected RepresentationCounty Public Works


Potential Strategies

Hotline Call Boxes

Video Cameras

Pull-out restrictions

Additional Signing

Additional Lighting

Public Education

Pedestrian Barricades

Safety Net


Call Boxes


Suicide Hotline Call Boxes

Such connections not available at this time


SIGNING

Current Sign posted at Cold Spring Bridge


Possible Additional Message Signs

Golden Gate

Clifton Bridge

  • We Care About You

  • Distress Center--We listen 24 hours a day

  • Statistically, signs have limited effectiveness


Video Cameras

Local law enforcement agencies lack

resources for visual monitoring

Do not prevent suicide

May serve as a suicide attraction

Surveillance and Patrol

Local law enforcement agencies lack resources for visual monitoring


Lighting

Lighting has not proven to be an effective deterrent

Safety Net

Installed underneath the bridge

Can be an effective barrier for helping to reduce suicides - alternative proposal

Rescue from a net can be problematic


Public Parking/Pull Out Areas

Restricting parking or closing off pull out areas may not be effective in reducing suicides

Some people park in the middle of the bridge

Caltrans Maintenance requires pull out access to both ends of the bridge


Public Education

Educate the public through the local media and community meetings and events

Provide public awareness that dialing 9-1-1 is best for notifying law enforcement in emergencies


Pedestrian Barrier

Demonstrated internationally to be the most effective strategy for preventing bridge related suicides

Effective barrier height is six feet tall

Can be constructed with aesthetic priorities


Research & Findings

Restriction of Means:

Preventing the ability to jump

How effective is it?

Studies show that when people are prevented from jumping, they do not go on to commit suicide by other means.

Example: Of 515 people who were prevented from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, only 6 percent went on to commit suicide.


Research & Findings

Restriction of Means:

Preventing the ability to jump

Example: Ellington and Taft Bridges in Washington D.C. Barricade placed at Ellington, but not on nearby Taft.

Suicides at Ellington decreased from average of 4 per year to 0 after barricade was installed.

Suicides at nearby Taft Bridge did not increase.


Research & Findings

Ellington

Taft


What Does Pedestrian Fencing Look Like?

Ellington


What Does Pedestrian Fencing Look Like?

Pasadena Colorado Street Bridge

Cold Spring Arch Bridge


What Does Pedestrian Fencing Look Like?

Pasadena Colorado Street Bridge


What Does Pedestrian Fencing Look Like?

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Luminous Veil


What Does Pedestrian Fencing Look Like?

Sydney Harbor


Golden Gate Bridge


One of 3 Proposed Barriers for the Golden Gate Bridge


How much would a pedestrian barricade cost?

Preliminary Estimate:

$200,000 to $300,000

Investigating eligibility for Department of Transportation Safety Program Funding


How difficult is it to get clearance to work on the bridge?

The bridge is likely eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places

Architectural studies required

Historical Resources Evaluation Report required

Federally funded projects must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act


Environmental Clearance cont.

A Finding of Effects document will need to be prepared, depending on the type of bridge modification proposed

Any modification deemed an “adverse effect” on the bridge will require further consultation with Federal Agencies, and perhaps the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation


How long would a project take to install a pedestrian barricade?

Difficult to assess at this point

Project design

Environmental review

Permitting

Interim Fencing Advisable?


Commander Dominick PaleraCounty Sheriff's DepartmentLisa Firestone, Ph.D.The Glendon Association

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