'Suicide Bridge': Portland Group Calls for Prevention Barriers at Suicide Hotspot

A bridge has now become known as "Suicide Bridge" in Portland, Ore. with numerous people jumping to their deaths from the bridge even in just recent months, and now local residents want authorities to address the issue and take action to prevent more suicides in the future.

In January it was reported that a newly engaged 19 year old jumped to her death from the Vista Bridge west of downtown Portland. The just last month a 40 year old man also committed suicide by jumping from the bridge. Again, just last week a 15 year old girl jumped and died in yet another apparent suicide.

Now local residents are saying enough is enough, and are pushing for authorities to address the issue.

A group called "Friends of The Vista Bridge" are asking the city to install suicide prevention barriers at the bridge to bring a halt to the loss of life at the now-notorious site.

Such barriers have been installed at other landmarks around the world where suicides had become an increased threat, and local residents in Portland now want similar action to be taken at their location.

The campaigning group believes that if the barriers are installed it will act as a deterrent and make potentially suicidal people stop and think twice before doing anything rash.

Skeptics have pointed out that the City is facing a $20 million budget shortfall, and installing the barriers at the site would cost $2.5 million, acting as a potential bar to the project moving forward. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and so only architecturally appropriate barriers may be installed at the location.

The budget shortfall will likely mean a federal grant will need to be applied for.

City Commissioner Steve Novick has said, "We certainly think of it as a high priority. But there's a whole mess of competing priorities and not much money," according to The Associated Press.

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