Golden Gate Bridge To Get Suicide Net

San Francisco officials approved $76 million to install suicide prevention nets around the Golden Gate Bridge. NPR's Scott Simon notes that last year a record 46 people jumped to their deaths.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And this week, the board that runs another American landmark, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, approved a plan to put suicide nets alongside the span. The nets will be 20 feet wide on each side and be made of stainless steel mesh. There were 46 suicides off the bridge last year, the highest number since it's opened in 1937.

More than 1,400 people have taken their lives by jumping from that symbol of the Golden West into the stinging waters of San Francisco Bay. One of the people who spoke in favor of the barriers was Kevin Hines. He is now 32, but was a troubled 19-year-old who heard voices when he jumped off the bridge in 2000 and became one of the few people to survive a suicide leap.

Mr. Hines says he felt instant regret after jumping and thinks the bridge can be a kind of magnet for troubled people. It's majestic. It's gorgeous. But it is a piece of iron. He told KTVU not one more soul, not one more soul will be lost to that bridge.

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