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The Golden Gate Bridge might be one of the most recognizable and beautiful landmarks the United States has, but since its opening seventy-five years ago, the structure has also been the leaping point for more than fifteen hundred suicides. That astronomical figure dwarfs all other sites in the entire world, and many think something should be done to stop the death toll.
Four years ago, a plan was put forth that would install a steel net twenty feet beneath the bridge to catch anyone who jumped or fell. The Highway and Transportation District approved the plans but refused to devote any money to the project. The idea would cost fifty million dollars to construct, and according to The San Francisco Examiner, in order to come up with that money, either bus services would need to be cut or bridge tolls would need to be raised. No one was excited about doing either; so, the project stalled.
To date, only five million dollars has been raised, but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. Senator Barbara Boxer is pushing for a change in the federal transportation bill that would allow federal funds to be used for suicide prevention. If the measure passes, residents could definitely come up with the other forty-five million needed, but ultimately, it would still come out of taxpayer dollars.
Now, there’s really two different ways to look at this issue. The first would be to say suicides are a collective problem, and a city should make efforts to prevent its citizens from killing themselves. The second would be to say suicides are an individual problem, and if someone wants to kill themselves, they’ll do it in another way if they can’t at the Golden Gate Bridge.
What do you think? Should taxpayer money go to preventing suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…
Should Taxes Go To Preventing Suicides At The Golden Gate Bridge?
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