PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — The city of Pasadena is set to display signs of life – literally – at a bridge where 13 people have committed suicide since 2006.
Built in 1912, the Colorado Street Bridge eventually acquired the name “Suicide Bridge” after over 150 people plunged 150 feet to the ground below since 1919.
Nearly half of those suicides on the bridge just off the eastbound 134 Freeway are reported to have occurred during the Great Depression from 1933 to 1937, according to city officials.
Now the city is planning to place four metal signs – two at either end of the bridge – with hopeful messages such as “Life Is Worth Living” and the phone number for a suicide prevention hotline.
The 12″ x 18″ signs are aimed at discouraging potential suicide candidates, who according to city estimates are 69 percent male, an average 38 years old, and 46 percent of which are either White or Hispanic.
Dr. Paula Clayton, medical director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that while the campaign has good intentions, its effectiveness is very much in doubt.
“It’s a nice first step…but the Golden Gate Bridge does have signs, and yet it hasn’t changed the rate of people dying by jumping from that bridge, so it’s doubtful,” Clayton said.
The move comes as the Colorado Street Bridge is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary on Saturday with “Happy Birthday Pasadena: Celebrating Bridges”, a festival open to the public that will feature the Mayor and other city officials, along with arts & crafts workshops, storytelling for kids, live music and other activities.
The signs are due to go up on the bridge by August.