In this Tuesday, June 4, 2013, photo, downtown is visible under under the Vista Bridge, historically known as "The Suicide Bridge" , in the Goose Hollow neighborhood west of downtown Portland, Ore. The numbers vary annually, but a suicide or two occurs each year at the arch bridge from which there is a majestic vista of the city skyline. Now a group called Friends of the Vista Bridge is pressing the city to install suicide-prevention barriers, a step taken at bridges throughout the world where suicides have become prevalent. Photo: Don Ryan

In this Tuesday, June 4, 2013, photo, downtown is visible under under the Vista Bridge, historically known as “The Suicide Bridge” , in the Goose Hollow neighborhood west of downtown Portland, Ore. The numbers vary annually, but a suicide or two occurs each year at the arch bridge from which there is a majestic vista of the city skyline. Now a group called Friends of the Vista Bridge is pressing the city to install suicide-prevention barriers, a step taken at bridges throughout the world where suicides have become prevalent. Photo: Don Ryan

Portland Residents Push for Barrier at Suicide Bridge

A local group known as “Friends of the Vista Bridge” is lobbying the local city government to install fencing or barriers to prevent suicides at this bridge.

The arch bridge is beautiful and overlooks the local town from a height of a dozen stories. However, it is becoming a source of life ending decisions.

According to the San Francisco Gate, this year alone there have been three suicides from the bridge. In January a 19-year-old woman, who had recently become engaged, jumped off the bridge to her death.

In May, a 40-year-old man ended his life by leaping from the bridge at nighttime. Lastly, a 15-year-old decided to take her life by stepping off the bridge. Local lawyer Kenneth Kahn has a legal office that is under the bridge and has vivid recollection of eight suicides over the years. He can recall the distinct sound that human bodies make as they impact the ground at terminal velocity.

He describes the sound as human flesh exploding. The city commissioner concurs that barriers are a good idea per se, but insists that the city can do better with the limited funds it has. He makes the point that the barriers won’t necessarily prevent deaths as there have been recent suicides from other parts of the city.

Source material:

Portlanders push for barrier at ‘Suicide Bridge’
http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Portlanders-push-for-barrier-at-Suicide-Bridge-4589729.php