Comments by GarrettGlasgow

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Posted on October 7 at 1:15 p.m.

Hello David,

The weighting method is described on page 4 of our report.

The inability to reach people by cell phone would only produce biased results if cell phone users systematically differ from land line users in their opinions on land use in a way that isn't captured by age, gender, income, race, or any of the other variables we can control for. I can't think of any plausible reason why this might be the case.

On Reluctant Over Growth

Posted on October 7 at 10:46 a.m.

On the issue of land lines versus cell phones, we didn't call cell phones because unlike land lines they aren't tied to a specific geographic area. Screening cell phone respondents after calling them to limit the survey to Santa Barbara County residents would either greatly increase the cost of the survey (due to paying for interviewer time wasted in calling people not in SBC) or reduce the number of people we could interview.

Our initial sample underrepresented men and younger people, so we weight each response using Census data to make the aggregate responses representative of SBC as a whole.

When limiting our discussion to the opinions of specific groups, such as old versus young, this sampling issue should not matter -- for example, under-representing young people in our initial survey should not change the estimated support of young people for high-density housing. This sampling issue only matters when trying to determine the opinions of SBC residents as a whole.

If anyone would like to see the complete survey it is available at:

On Reluctant Over Growth

Posted on October 18 at 6:12 p.m.

UCSB Professor Garrett Glasgow, whose recent studies have called the efficacy of bridge barriers into question, spoke after McGinnes during the public hearing portion of the meeting, calling the Caltrans proposal a band-aid solution. "This steel barrier idea is a war on suicide that doesn't address the underlying illness, like the war on terror that doesn't address our addiction to oil," Glasgow said.


I didn't say that -- that was actually a quote from someone else.

On SBCAG Gives Nod to Cold Spring Suicide Barrier

Posted on September 13 at 11:15 a.m.

>>"Before this type of measure is taken it would be great to see if suicides actually were decreased in areas where high bridges were fitted with a barrier. Did suicides actually drop or were they just done in another manner?<<<

A number of researchers have studied this question, and thus far nobody has found any evidence that barriers save lives. In particular, no study has found a drop in the number or rate of suicide in the communities around bridges once these bridges are fitted with barriers.

For more information:

On Man's Bridge Jump Leads to Death

Posted on August 15 at 1:37 p.m.

I've noticed the same problem, and wondered about the solution. Bike racks on the back of the bus might be unsafe, since the driver couldn't see the person loading/unloading the bike.

If the bike racks on the front of the bus can't be expanded, how about a secure bike rack at each bus stop?

On None

Posted on August 14 at 9:56 p.m.

A point of information that may be of interest: I was curious about where the number of 162 suicide-related calls to the Cold Spring Bridge came from, so I wrote an email to the SB County Sheriff's Department.

Commander Palera responded, and told me that that number includes any call potentially related to suicide and the bridge. This includes for instance a deputy stopping to contact a pedestrian near the bridge to make sure they're not suicidal, checking the bridge because a family member called in and said someone might be suicidal and headed for the bridge, and so on.

That is, we have not actually had 162 suicidal people on the Cold Spring Bridge in the last 8 years. Commander Palera told me that so far this year his department has contacted 3 people who were actually suicidal and on the bridge or on their way to the bridge.

This number seems more in line with what we have seen on other bridges -- for instance, on the Golden Gate Bridge they contact and save on average about 2 people for every 1 that jumps. Since the Cold Spring Bridge averages about 1 suicide per year, we're more likely getting about 2 suicidal people per year going to the bridge and being saved, not 20.

On Caltrans Insists Funding Exists for Cold Spring Bridge Project

Posted on August 11 at 11:23 a.m.

sevendolphins, all of your concerns have already been stated and addressed numerous times, both on this website and elsewhere. For example:

Spamming multiple threads on this topic with identically worded talking points contributes nothing to the debate.

On Caltrans Insists Funding Exists for Cold Spring Bridge Project

Posted on June 23 at 1:07 p.m.

That's right -- the chain link fence isn't even up yet in these photos, and that went up sometime in March, I think.

On Shoreline Park Beach Steps Closed

Posted on June 11 at 1:46 p.m.

"In addition to the [suicide prevention] measures described, whose efficacy is attested to by the scientific literature, it is thought that other measures, such as the use of fencing on high buildings and bridges, could also contribute to a reduction in suicide rates, although there is no definitive evidence to support this idea."

- World Health Organization, 1998

On Caltrans Gives Public Glimpse of Cold Spring Suicide Barrier

Posted on June 11 at 12:16 p.m.

For those interested in submitting comments to Caltrans on the barrier plan, according to the Draft Environmental Impact Report you can send email or write to:

Cathy Stettler, Senior Environmental Planner
Central Coast Environmental Analysis
California Department of Transportation
50 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Be sure to do this before June 24th.

I should also mention that the claim that I "have never been able to disprove the claim that net lives are saved [by barriers]" is beside the point. The real point is that nobody has been able to *prove* this claim. Suicide researchers and public health officials all agree that we simply don't know if suicide barriers save lives or not.

On Caltrans Gives Public Glimpse of Cold Spring Suicide Barrier

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