While the number of people who take their lives by jumping off the bridge represents a small percent of the total suicides in Taos County (most people use guns)...
While the number of people who take their lives by jumping off the bridge represents a small percent of the total suicides in Taos County (most people use guns), it remains high profile because of the extensive resources the county expends to recover remains, the risks to first responders, and the emotional impact on firefighters, search and rescue volunteers and law enforcement who help.
The state has studied various proposals over the last decade for installing safety nets or erecting a taller barrier along the bridge. Both are expensive propositions and some oppose any structural change because of the impact on the view from the bridge. Each year the proposals stall. Meanwhile, more than 115 people have taken their lives at the bridge in the last two decades. It was one Taos mother and friends who started the Gorge Bridge Safety Network after her son leaped off the bridge and died.
For those in the Taos community who’ve lost loved ones at the bridge, anything that makes it harder for people to kill themselves is worth the money.
With a new governor and a little more money in state coffers this year, plus the possibility Congress will put some additional federal money toward infrastructure improvements, perhaps 2019 is the year something will finally be done to make the bridge a harder place for people to take their own lives.
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