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SB-656 San Diego-Coronado Bridge: physical suicide deterrent system.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/30/2019 09:00 PM
SB656:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 30, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  April 03, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 656


Introduced by Senator Hueso

February 22, 2019


An act relating to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 656, as amended, Hueso. San Diego-Coronado Bridge: physical barriers. suicide deterrent system.
Existing law provides funding for the development, construction, and maintenance of the state’s bridges and highways and requires that a project study report be prepared for any new project involving the construction of a new bridge, or the replacement of a bridge with a history of documented suicides, that demonstrates that a suicide barrier was a feature that was considered during the project’s planning process.

This bill would require the Department of Transportation to act expeditiously toward approving and constructing a permanent physical barrier on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and would require the department to give this priority over other pending projects not related to the immediate health and safety of the public. The bill would require the department one year after constructing the permanent physical barrier to make available, on its internet website, information regarding the impact of the barrier on suicides on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

This bill would require the Director of Transportation to select members for an advisory committee to provide input into the selection of a suicide deterrent system for the San Diego-Coronado Bridge that would include a representative from law enforcement, the mental health community, a local suicide prevention community group, a resident of the Barrio Logan/Sherman Heights community, and representatives of specified city and county governments. The bill would also provide for the selection to the advisory committee of one representative each by the Assembly Members or State Senators whose districts include the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The San Diego-Coronado Bridge was constructed between February 1967 and August 1969, as an alternative to the San Diego-Coronado ferry system.
(b) It is recognized as a San Diego landmark and has won several awards for both its beauty and its unique construction. The bridge is listed on the California Register of Historical Resources and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
(c) Over 80,000 passenger vehicles cross the San Diego-Coronado Bridge daily as the bridge serves a critical connection for the community of Coronado and Naval Base Coronado to San Diego.
(d) Roughly 400 suicides have occurred since 1969 at the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

(e)After the Golden Gate Bridge, it is recognized as the second most frequently used bridge for suicide in the United States.

(f)From 2011 to 2016, the bridge averaged 15 suicides per year. That number is double the average in the period from 2005 to 2010.

(g)The average annual number of suicides at the San Diego-Coronado Bridge has more than doubled over the past six years.

(h)The 2012 death toll of 19 lives was the highest in the bridge’s nearly 50-year history.

(i)The nationwide average age of those who kill themselves at a bridge is 50 years of age; at the San Diego-Coronado Bridge that age is 38 years of age.

(j)The San Diego-Coronado Bridge has the highest concentration of fatalities for a spot located on the state highway system in Caltrans District 11 in the Counties of San Diego and Imperial due to deaths by suicide, resulting in closures of the bridge.

(e) The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has completed a feasibility study on a physical suicide deterrent system for the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and has begun a process to select, schedule, and fund the system.
(f) Input from a broad cross-section of regional stakeholders will help inform the selection process and lead to a decision that best meets the desires of the community.
SEC. 2.

The Department of Transportation shall act expeditiously toward approving and constructing a permanent physical barrier on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and shall give this priority over other pending projects not related to the immediate health and safety of the public.

SEC. 3.

One year after constructing the permanent physical barrier, the Department of Transportation shall make available, on its internet website, information regarding the impact of the permanent physical barrier on suicides on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

SEC. 2.

 (a) The Director of Transportation shall select members for an advisory committee to provide input into the selection of a physical suicide deterrent system for the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. The advisory committee shall include one representative each from all of the following:
(1) The County of San Diego.
(2) Law enforcement.
(3) The City of San Diego.
(4) The City of Cornonado.
(5) The mental health community.
(6) A local suicide prevention community group.
(7) A resident of the Barrio Logan/Sherman Heights community.
(b) The advisory committee shall also include one representative for each Assembly Member and State Senator whose district includes the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, to be selected by that Assembly Member or State Senator.

SEC. 4.SEC. 3.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure a barrier is constructed to improve safety and mitigate suicide risks on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge at the earliest possible time, that any physical suicide deterrent system for the San Diego-Coronado Bridge reflects the input of a broad cross-section of regional stakeholders, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.