Dear Friends of the Bridge and friends,
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