Neighborhood leaders sign on to suicide prevention plan for DC bridge

Calls are growing louder for suicide prevention barriers to be placed along a Northwest D.C. bridge.

The push is for protective barriers — essentially, tall fencing — along the William Howard Taft Bridge, which carries Connecticut Avenue over Rock Creek valley in the District.

The idea had already been endorsed by one Advisory Neighborhood Commission and got the unanimous backing Wednesday night from another one.

“The barriers do save lives. They cut through the impulse” of suicide, said Chelsea Van Thof, who lost her partner, Peter Tripp, to suicide on the Taft Bridge in April. “If the Taft had had (barriers), I think Peter would still be here,” she told commissioners representing Adams Morgan.

Supporters of the proposal would like to see something similar to the 8-foot anti-suicide fence that’s on the Duke Ellington Memorial Bridge, just north of the Taft Bridge. The Taft Bridge was supposed to get its own anti-suicide fence in the 1980s but the plan was abandoned.

ANC resolutions are supposed to be given serious consideration by D.C. government agencies and the D.C. Council.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, they can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

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