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Cornell Proposes Bridge Nets
dsd73@cornell.edu
| May 31, 2011
Cornell University submitted a proposal to the Ithaca City Planning Department on Tuesday to install nets under 6 bridges on and near campus, as well as one vertical net along the suspension bridge that connects Fall Creek Drive and University Avenue.
[[image|id=329|width=250|align=right]] [[font|size=2]]Source: Cornell University[[end-font]]
Cornell University submitted a proposal to the Ithaca City Planning Department on Tuesday to install nets under 6 bridges on and near campus, as well as one vertical net along the suspension bridge that connects Fall Creek Drive and University Avenue. University Officials opted for this proposal over metal bars or mesh after determining that they would detract too much from the natural beauty of the area. All of the nets would be made of low-visibility tensile steel mesh, as pictured in an artist's rendering to the right. The proposal follows the initial installation of temporary fences along these fences in March 2010 after a cluster of six student suicides, three of which occurred within a month. Later that spring, a report from suicide prevention experts contracted by the University recommended "means restriction" as a preventative measure, including restrictions on access to the bridges as a means of suicide. "The systems are robust in construction and undemanding in their maintenance requirements," noted Cornell University Architect Gilbert Delgado. "They also provide unobstructed views and preserve the aesthetic character of the historic structures they are attached to," he added, addressing the concerns voiced by the Planning Board and members of the community in response to Cornell's original design proposals. Between 1990 and 2011, 29 people have jumped into the gorges near the Cornell campus, 15 of which were college students. While Cornell's overall suicide rate is similar to other colleges and universities, its rate of jumping suicides is dramatically higher. While jumping deaths represent 2 percent of suicides nationwide, they account for nearly half of all student suicides at Cornell, according to Tim Marchell, Director of Mental Health Initiatives at the University.
Share Your Thoughts
Tom from NH | June 1, 2011, 10:29am
Can't they just jump into the net and then jump out of the net? Don't string up a bunch of crap in the gorges, it will look awful. If someone wants to kill themselves they will just find a another way.
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