Light pole number 69

This is an interesting chart: a representation of the Golden Gate Bridge, and where people who have committed suicide (1,218 since the bridge was built) were standing when they jumped off.
So other than the purient, what’s the explanation for the most popular jumping spot being light pole number 69? I can’t imagine that the people leaping off here really chose that spot because the number is funny. It does make sense that people choose the east side of the bridge, where there is a pedestrian walkway, as opposed to the bicycle lane on the other side. But pole number 69 has over twice as many jumpers as number 67. I wonder if it would make more sense if I were standing on the bridge. Maybe it’s the furthest spot from police intereference, for example.
Am I really ghoulish for thinking of this at all?

Posted in Current Events
3 comments on “Light pole number 69
  1. Stephanie says:

    Pole 67 has the second highest number of jumpers, and pole 68 has the highest on that side of the bridge. Maybe that section of the bridge is the tallest or something.

  2. jck says:

    could just be sheer randomness
    I’m not a statistician but if you wrote a computer program to randomly pick a pole and added some statistical weight towards the center of the bridge you might end up with a similar chart.
    I notice that the bay side of the bridge has more jumps than ocean side but I think the sidewalk is only on the bay side.
    I’ve walked over the Golden Gate bridge a few times and never even noticed the pole numbers, I don’t even know if they are prominently displayed if at all.
    If you look at the sfgate.com graph of suicides by year you can see the number recorded in 1995 is four times greater than the number of suicides in 1990. I don’t think that means the number of depressed suicidal people quadrupled from 1990 to 1995.

  3. kathy E says:

    Can you imagine all the decomposition in the water, all the blood and sharks that come in and out of the bay? Scary and very deep turbulent water. I’m sure there are more jumpers than recorded. The trapezoid seen in the towers as you look up them attracts more suicides. The stunted triangle is an evil, demonic gemetric shape.

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