B.C.’s minister of transportation Blair Lekstrom and infrastructure is pledging that anti-suicide barriers be installed onto the Ironworkers’ Memorial bridge by next year, and that a barrier is in the design stage as of now. Lekstrom hasn’t offered details on cost or completion of the barriers on the five Vancouver bridges where most deaths occur due to people jumping off them. Lekstrom claims that these barriers will go a long way in helping prevent suicide attempts of the bridges.
As of now, the focus is on Ironworkers’ Memorial, where an average of one person dies a year for the past five years, and while in the same five year period, approximately 26 people have jumped off the Lions Gate bridge, which as of now Lekstrom won’t comment on whether or not that bridge will be receiving a barrier. Lekstrom claims that safety of the bridge has got to be priority, and that wind shear is a major issue in delays and planning.
A previous report back in 2009, estimated the cost of the barriers on the Ironworkers’ Memorial to be anywhere from 5 to 6 million dollars. Vancouverite Melinda Clancey-Dubienski claims that if she think’s the suicide barriers are actually helping to prevent suicides, then she will be in support of them. As Clancey-Dubienski had witnessed a woman hanging for her life, dangling off the rail of the Cambie bridge back in June 2011. Clancey-Dubienski rushed out of her car to help the woman along with another bystander, and hold on to that woman’s life. The woman was pregnant and her boyfriend was in jail, and all she was doing was crying uncontrollably. Clancey-Dubienski wonders if the barrier is really the answer to help prevent suicides from occurring, whether or not it’s the necessary fix.
What do you think? Would suicide barriers help save lives?