On the weekend, my father and I were running errands and driving all over the city. We passed under the Prince Edward Viaduct bridge (along Bloor), which prompted a conversation about its barriers preventing jumps (aka suicides). We passed another bridge along Main Street (between Danforth and Gerrard) and noticed that it did not have any barriers. Our conversation sparked an interest, a curiosity.
Instead of looking at the population who are suicide-prone or who have committed suicide by jumping, I would investigate bridges as the tool used to carry out the suicide. This may reveal quite a bit about the person’s reasoning. My train of thought is the following:
– Why are some bridges “popular” to jump off of while others – that are equally as deadly – not? Why is there a mystique that surrounds some bridges and not others?
Are there features of certain bridges that make them a more “attractive” option than other bridges or other suicide methods? For example, are bridges with historical meaning used more often than modern bridges? Are bridges that are over water used more commonly than bridges over traffic?
If I were to conduct this research, a complication might be incomplete or missing records of suicides and/or methods of suicide. Another complication could be that the research may be incomplete without considering the human element. This could mean a study about an artifact has turned into a psychology study.
I have attached two pictures courtesy of Wikipedia of the “Luminous Veil” – what the Prince Edward Viaduct’s barrier is called. These are pictures of the actual one on that bridge. Here is a link to the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminous_Veil