Travelog (Day 9) – The Golden Gate Bridge

I have been so busy blogging about SolidWorks World 2010 and my Autodesk Visit that my travelog has been neglected. I will try and catch up.

My wonderful host, Jim Quanci, has been driving me around San Francisco and showing me some interesting stuff. A couple of days ago we drove to the Golden Gate bridge, an engineering marvel. Here are a couple of pictures. Click the images for larger views.

Jim and I at the foot of the Golden Gate

The view from one of the hills close to the Golden Gate

Jim gave me a pretty good rundown about the history surrounding the Golden Gate as well as the other bridges around San Francisco. This Wikipedia page has all that information and more. However, I learned some pretty morbid, but interesting, stuff about the bridge from Jim.

Like all bridges, the Golden Gate is a pretty attractive place to commit suicide. They have about one every two weeks. There are cameras on the bridge that keep track of people who are thinking of putting an end to their misery. But as you can imagine, they are not very effective. Here is another interesting statistic. A larger number of people prefer to jump from the side facing the Bay as opposed to the side facing the Pacific ocean. I am sure some shrink will or has already come up with an explanation for that.

Jim also tells me that there is a debate going on whether to spend 50 million on creating a suicide barrier that would prevent people from jumping off. Personally, I think the idea may not be the best way to go about solving the problem. It’s not like the Golden Gate is the only place to commit suicide. Moreover, I think the $50 million could be better used to provide more help to people who think that they have no hope left.