An attempt is being made by the Friends of the Bridge to confuse the public with regard to reallocating funds from the Cold Springs Bridge suicide barrier fund to finish the Santa Barbara Hwy 101 widening project. In my recent conversation with a representative of SBCAG (Santa Barbara Association of Governments) he advised that there are sufficient funds to complete both projects. In addition, the funds for these projects come from different sources.
The misrepresentation of the facts speaks very poorly of the tactics being employed by the “Friends.” Tragically, on Saturday, February 19, another person took his life. A total of 55 lives have been lost by desperate individuals jumping off of the bridge since its completion in 1964. (Checking with the CHP, no fatalities have occurred as a result of the widening work presently on going at the Santa Barbara HWY 101 project). One wonders: Where are our humane priorities?
Unless the barrier is put in place there is no question that we will see continued loss of life at the bridge. The devastating effects of these suicides reach to every segment of our society, from the immediate family to friends and neighbors, and to the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans, Sheriff’s deputies, the coroner, Forest Service and rescue personnel, and passing motorists. There is no question that “The Friends” are trying every means possible to block the construction of this lifesaving measure.
The next meeting in which this issue may be brought forward to SBCAG will be on March 17 in Santa Maria. However, interested persons can attend the teleconference meeting at the Santa Barbara County Administrative Building on the 4th floor at 8:30 a.m. All citizens who cherish and honor life should make their desires known by signing the online petition, calling Caltrans at 805- 549-3237, writing to your Santa Barbara County Supervisor, or attending the teleconference meeting.
We all look for common sense and decency in our community. This continued blockade by the “Friends of the Bridge” defies all human understanding.