leavingtheisland.jpgTwo bridges spanning the Hudson River just north of the city will be getting suicide prevention phones instead of physical barriers following three fatal leaps in close succession earlier this year. The phones to be installed on the Tappan Zee and Bear Mountain Bridges will be connected to a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline. Plans for installing physical barriers were turned down as being too expensive to install and maintain.

The plan to install the phones is being undertaken by the New York State Bridge Authority. NYC's bridges are controlled by a number of different agencies. The Port Authority of NY & NJ oversees the George Washington Bridge. the MTA is in charge of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. And the NYC Dept. of Transportation takes care of the city's East River Bridges.

They're generally not reported in the media, but NYC bridges experience a regular number of people threatening to commit suicide on them. There was one individual on the Queensborough Bridge this weekend, but it appears he was successfully talked down. New York Press once interviewed a former Emergency Services Unit officer whose job was to try to rescue bridge jumpers. He claimed the NYPD has about a 99% success rate.

(leaving the island, by m11ka* at flickr)