The Washington Street Bridge in Minneapolis happens to be the bridge where John Berryman, among others, ended his life. Perhaps the clue is in his poem Dream Song 14–“I conclude now I have no inner resources, because I am heavy bored”–perhaps not.
Here is the bridge from the East Bank. On the left is the Weisman Art Museum, a stainless steel and brick building designed by architect Frank Gehry.
Potential suicides have two choices, the river or the grassy bank next to it. I have talked to several long-time residents; they all seem to have a story about knowing someone or seeing someone who jumped. Access is easy, there are no screens or barriers, nor do residents seem concerned about not having them, in spite of the sadness surrounding their own personal experiences.
Entering the bridge from the west bank, one sees a tree full of shoes. Is it art or is it a prank? And don’t suicides often remove their shoes before jumping?