Raise the Rails - Save a Life

  • by: Dayna Whitmer
  • recipient: Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge District

Our family's youngest son, Matthew, disappeared in November 2007. It is believed that he ended his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge.  No body was ever recovered after a young man was seen jumping off the bridge on November 15th. Many people are not ever seen to jump (22%) and of those seen to jump, many bodies are never recovered (15%). 

One out of 4 adults
in our country is affected by someone they know with a mental illness, such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  Suicide is one of the more critical phases of many of those diseases.

The impulse for suicide is short-term and if the railing were higher it would prevent most, though sadly not all, people from taking a permanent action for a temporary condition. The person is not thinking in a clear and rational manner. The drive to stop the emotional pain the person feels can last minutes to hours but then subsides.  That is when many people reach out for the help they need.

 Currently the bridge rail height is about 3.5 feet, an easy leap for anyone. Many groups over the years have tried to get the height of the railing raise. In 2005, the Golden Gate Bridge District approved studies for wind tunnel designs and an environmental report. Following the wind tunnels studies several designs were chosen since they do not compromise the structure of the bridge.

A draft of the Environmental report has been released and provides 5 options of barriers. View the DEIR/EA Citizens Guide which serves as a summary of the environmental document.  Comment on the DEIR/EA.

Part of the report will list options for the rails, including (YES really!) not doing anything and letting more than 30 people continue to jump from the bridge each year!

This is truly a moral issue and will reflect how society as a whole feels about the individual with mental health problems!  Please encourage as many people that you know to sign and to pass it on.  This needs to go around the world and back!

If nothing else, "doing nothing" should NOT be an option!

Please sign this petition and then go to the Golden Gate Bridge District website, view the EIR, determine your choice of barrier then go to the "Comment" section to let them know barriers will work!


We the undersigned are requesting that the Board of Directors stop the impulsive acts of the mentally ill and raise the height of the railing on the Golden Gate Bridge.  
As Board of Directors you have been aware of the high potential and actuality for suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge for 70 years. The emergency call boxes and patrols have helped save many people each year but they have done nothing to decrease the amount of suicides annually. In fact, the number is slowly rising.

Now is the best time and opportunity to help stop mentally ill people from making an impulsive, irrational choice to take their lives in such an easy manner.

Please do not condone and perpetuate the callousness  that encompasses our society.  Please do not make it easier to turn a blind eye to these "silent" suicides by doing nothing.

Please, Raise the Rails and Save Lives !

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