Completion of the Cold Springs Arch Bridge Barrier

Dear Friends of the Bridge and friends,

Caltrans Photo

Work was completed this past week on the $4 million project to install the so-called suicide prevention barriers on the Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge.  For over 5 years we did our best to prevent this deeply flawed and fiscally irresponsible project from defacing the unique grace and beauty for which the bridge was widely renowned since its completion in 1963.

In the end, our efforts were doomed by the failure of local elected officials to meet their stewardship responsibilities regarding this iconic community environmental and historic resource.  Make no mistake about it: a far superior solution to the problem of occasional suicide at the bridge was made available in a timely way to these officials and could have been implemented if adequate care and courage had been exercised by them in connection with the Caltrans proposal.

Former Assemblyman Pedro Nava and former Supervisor Brooks Firestone pushed hard in semi-secrecy to get the barriers proposal off the ground in 2005, and current Supervisors Farr, Wolf, and Carbajal cast critically important votes to ratify the highly dubious  transfer and allocation of funds to carry out the barriers project.  Other local elected officials who behaved similarly could also be called to account, but it is time to move on to other challenges and opportunities, not to settle scores.

I am grateful to each and every one of you Friends of the Bridge for your help in our campaign.  We did not achieve our primary goal, but we were successful in obtaining court orders to to set aside violations of environmental law and in illuminating clearly the responsibilities of our elected officials to act as protective stewards of the community’s environmental and historical resources.

Best wishes for your being and doing wonderfully well!
Marc McGinnes, founder of the ad-hoc community group Friends of the Bridge

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7 Responses to Completion of the Cold Springs Arch Bridge Barrier

  1. Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    The bridge was a marvel and a beauty. It was clear that saving lives wasn’t the rationale/ Caltrans just wanted to avoid the dangerous recovery efforts

  2. Axman March 5, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    I’ll pay $100 to the first person that posts a picture of themselves with a leg over the top of that barrier.

  3. Goleta Jim March 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Double the bounty. How much time and money was wasted here yet the county and state are broke.

  4. BB March 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    I drove over it yesterday. The barrier is truly a view barrier. I told my wife how disappointed I was that we spent a million dollars to ruin he view. Now I realize I was off by a factor of four.
    It will be interesting to see if the suicide rate in the county goes down now, I suspect it will go down at that location, but bridges don’t commit suicide. People do. I guess they will just find another means. I pray for the tortured souls and wish them peace.

  5. pedronava March 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    As usual, McGinnes spares no misrepresentation, no half truth, no exaggeration in promoting his version of the world. I have always promoted the barrier solution to save lives in a very public manner, including public statements on this website and anywhere else I have had a chance. For McGinnes to characterize my efforts as having been done in “semi-secrecy” is a demonstration of his willingness to distort the truth and his desperation to make the best of his failed efforts.

    There is no such thing as an “occasional suicide”. Since 1963, on average, one person a year jumps from that bridge to their death. That McGinnes would chose those words to characterize the tragedy of suicide and the impact on those left behind reveals his callous indifference to people who will forever seek some comfort and understanding of their loss.

    McGinnes speaks of wanting to move on, but of course attacks those who hold a different opinion than he. Such faux charity is neither honest, appreciated nor welcome.

    To pretend you do the community a favor by abandoning an attempt to “settle scores” is a classical example of hubris, and your delusion. Every firefighter, every Highway Patrol Officer, every Sheriff’s Deputy, every parent, brother, sister, husband, wife, brother, sister, surviving child, every person who loves someone who was deterred from taking their life on that bridge because of the barrier-is another breath taken on this earth, another opportunity to make a difference-thankfully, we don’t need to worry about how McGinnis feels about it anymore, the barrier is up.

  6. Marc McGinnes March 6, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Shrill squeals and sanctimonious bluster won’t cut it here, Mr. Nava. The truth of your back-room dealings is shown by documentary evidence now in the record of your work in Sacramento in 2005 to divert $1,000,000 from funds earmarked for “traffic safety – collision reduction” to the Caltrans suicide barriers proposal; and on top of that, your shameful collusion with Caltrans to keep environmental and historic preservation groups in the dark about it; and on top of that there is the transcript of the hearing of the California Transportation Commission in 2008 in which your wrongful diversion of funds was discovered and undone.

    Thankfully, we don’t have to worry anymore about how you behave in important public office.

  7. Editor March 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Reminder: There’s a new send scoop button on the right for anyone who has a picture, story, or letter to the Editor.