You know what, now that I'm reading the articles I link below I thought I'd warn you that it's pretty grim reading. The New Yorker one is a bit less gory. If you like all those disturbing details (I can't stay away from morbid crap like this, read this one from the Chronicle)
I caught a glimpse this morning of part of a series the SF Chronicle is doing on the debate over putting a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate bridge. Check it out. I have a feeling that this could finally happen. I think the momentum may be there. The first time I really thought about this issue was in 2003 when the New Yorker printed this article on it. The author, Tad Friend was clearly on the pro-barrier side, and I agreed with him. The case that struck me most clearly was the guy in the 70s who jumped and had left a note in his apartment that if one person smiled at him on the way there, he wouldn't do it. So sad. Your first reaction may be that it's not worth spending money on or possibly obscuring the view because those people will kill themselves anyway, but if you know anything about the thought process of suicidal people you would now that that's just not true. Most people who are suicidal are not thinking logically, and some people kill themselves impulsively when they are particularly down. At this point, the bridge is such a powerful symbol that it attracts people who are in this state of mind. Well, read the articles if you have time, especially the NYer one, because he states it more eloquently than I can.