Prep work begins for net installation on bridges
August 23, 2012 - Cornell has begun installing steel-mesh net systems on seven gorge bridges as part of its comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.
Common Council votes 'yes' to allow nets under bridges
December 8, 2011 - Pending site plan approval from the planning board and other requisite approvals, the university will move forward to install the net systems on both the city-owned and university-owned bridges, with the goal of starting construction this summer.
Planning board unanimous: Bridge nets will not harm the environment
November 30, 2011 - The assessment marks a step toward the board's possible approval of site plans for each bridge. It also means other city bodies -- the Common Council, Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission (ILPC) and the planning board itself -- are now free to vote on whether to allow the nets.
City board reviews netting under bridges as suicide barrier
November 23, 2011 - Plans for each bridge include a stainless steel mesh net designed to make suicide from the bridges more difficult. The mesh nets will be about 15 feet below the top of existing guardrails and will extend 15 feet from the edge of the guardrails.
Compromising on the Bridge Barriers
October 18, 2011 - The City of Ithaca and Cornell's decision to install nets underneath area bridges is the right compromise. The nets solution alleviates concerns -- which were not unjustified -- that the vertical barriers would hinder the campus' and surrounding areas' natural landscape, but still ensures the safety of the individual.
September 27, 2011 - Andrew Magré, Associate University Architect for Cornell made a presentation to the City of Ithaca Planning Board regarding Means Restriction for Seven Bridges.
July 26, 2011 - Andrew Magré, Associate University Architect for Cornell, made a presentation to the City of Ithaca Planning Board regarding Means Restriction for Seven Bridges.
June 29, 2011 - Tompkins County residents voiced their opinions June 28 about whether the city of Ithaca should allow Cornell to install nets under three city-owned bridges on and adjacent to campus.
June 28, 2011 - Dr. Tim Marchell, Director of Mental Health Initiatives at Cornell writes an opinion piece for the Ithaca Journal which he states, "On occasion, our community is asked to consider and make a decision on an issue of import that will play out over generations. Inevitably, these are topics with several layers that can't be summarized with sound bites nor hasty analyses, but must rely on past events, current data and, at the end of the day, compassion and courage."
May 31, 2011 - "We've taken care to submit designs that will preserve the aesthetic value of the bridges and vistas," said Susan Murphy, Cornell's vice president for student and academic services. "We believe the designs also will make vulnerable members of our community feel safer and reduce the incidence of a highly lethal and potentially contagious form of suicide."
The city's Common Council will decide whether the nets should be installed on city-owned bridges; its decision is unlikely before fall 2011.
April 7, 2011 - "This is the one place that we know of, in the country if not the world, where nearly half the suicides are related to jumping off bridges -- not just one iconic bridge, but the bridges in the community," said suicide-prevention expert Eric Caine, '69, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a consultant to Cornell.
April 4, 2011 - WHCU podcast promotes two meetings in Ithaca with reknown suicide expert Dr. Eric Caine from Rochester to discuss "means reduction" and what can be done to prevent future deaths from Ithaca's bridges.
March 2, 2011 - Architects Nader Tehrani and Dan Gallagher of NADAAA, a Boston, Mass., architecture firm hired by the Cornell administration, made four presentations on campus and at Ithaca venues on conceptual designs for each type of bridge. The goal was to generate discussion on the various alternatives. In total, about 250 people attended the four meetings.
Feb. 7, 2011 - The video recording accessed through the link above, shows a progress meeting for the design of Bridge Means Restriction held at Ithaca’s City Hall. Cornell and City of Ithaca officials were presented with early developmental work from the design firm NADAAA which will lead to the pre-schematic design submission in early March. A series of forums is scheduled on March 2nd to present a range of design possibilities to the community.
Feb 16, 2011 - Provost Kent Fuchs, Vice President for Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy and Dean of the University Faculty William Fry, in a televised roundtable airing on CornellCast and posted at the Caring Community website http://www.caringcommunity.cornell.edu for subsequent viewing, discussed the expansion of mental health programs as well as new initiatives that have been put in place since last spring.
Feb. 10, 2011 - In May 2010, three suicide-prevention experts recommended using means restrictions on the high gorge bridges owned by the city and Cornell. Research indicates that restricting access to jumping sites has a substantial probability of saving lives; if suicidal individuals are deterred from jumping at a particular site, they are unlikely to attempt suicide again.
Nov. 11, 2010 - Vincent Andrews, president of the Student Assembly, writes an opinion piece for the "Guest Room," The Cornell Daily Sun, in which he states, "Don’t sit passively and allow nothing to occur, get involved and help improve your community."
Nov. 9, 2010 - The design firm NADAAA — which was contracted by the University to design permanent suicide barriers on bridges on and around campus — presented its Site Analysis for seven bridges to city officials last week, marking the culmination of the project’s pre-design phase.
Sept. 21, 2010 - As the University moves ahead with designs for permanent bridge barriers, the student body should ask itself the following questions: In decisions that can have a dramatic effect on life and death matters, is there any room for a discussion of aesthetics? And, why do we place such a premium on aesthetics in the first place?
Sept. 16, 2010 - The relationship between Cornell, its campus and Ithaca will be the key to improving the safety of gorge bridges, according to the architect who will design long-term means restriction.
Sept. 13, 2010 - Vice President for Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy updated about 80 students, faculty and staff on recent developments at a Sept. 10 forum in Goldwin Smith Hall's Kaufmann Auditorium.
Sept. 12, 2010 - On Sept. 14 Cornell University Architect Gilbert Delgado will introduce the architectural firm NADAAA, which has been selected to investigate ways to address bridge-related accidents and suicides on and near the Cornell campus.
Sept. 8, 2010 - The Cornell Daily Sun conducts an interview with Nader Tehrani — a principal for the architecture firm NADAAA and a tenured professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Aug. 31, 2010 - Cornell Alumni Magazine reports on the university's struggle to balance public safety with natural beauty.
Aug. 5, 2010 - Ithaca's Common Council unanimously granted a further extension of an emergency measure that will enable Cornell University, at its sole cost, to install more visually appealing temporary bridge barriers as the university and the city work to find an acceptable long-term solution.
July 16, 2010 - Members of the Ithaca community who spoke at a meeting of Ithaca's Common Council July 14 overwhelmingly favor keeping temporary fences on gorge bridges to help prevent suicides.
July 8, 2010 - This FAQ is a follow-up to the June 17 Cornell Chronicle story on a consultants' report with recommendations on suicide prevention and bridge safety. The experts were engaged by the university in the wake of several student suicides in the past year.
June 3, 2010 - A unanimous vote by Ithaca's Common Council June 2 has granted Cornell a 10-week extension on the temporary chain-link fences erected on several bridges in the wake of student suicides this past academic year.