Council Votes for Suicide Barrier Transparency

Spurred on by Councilmembers Dale Francisco and Frank Hotchkiss, the Santa Barbara City Council voted to instruct Mayor Helene Schneider to ask the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments—on whose board she sits—to ask Caltrans to share a secret engineering study about suicide barrier alternatives for the Cold Spring Bridge with the head of the state’s Office of Historic Preservation. Historic preservationists have opposed the suicide barrier proposed by Caltrans, saying it needlessly blocks the sweeping views from the scenic bridge. They favor a less intrusive alternative with horizontal supports rather than the vertical beams favored by Caltrans. Caltrans engineers claim the horizontal approach would impose too great a structural burden on the bridge, but have refused to release the engineering studies supporting this contention, citing Homeland Security concerns.

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