San Francisco’s most famous landmark evidently has more than tourists keeping it in the record books. Last year alone, 34 people jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, making it one of the most popular platforms for suicide in the nation.

City officials are trying hard to erase the stigma of these staggering figures. Their solution?

Build a wall.

This proposed wall—technically a fence—will rise 14 feet high, extending the existing barrier by 10 feet.

But this extension would act as much more than a physical barrier; it would function like a sign post, telling all observers and passers-by: “If you’re going to commit suicide, you can’t do it here.”

The number of suicides committed over the Bay will inevitably drop. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said as easily for suicide in general.

The Golden Gate Bridge will conceivably be a dead end for attempted suicides, but it won’t quell people’s motives. When you drive into a dead end, you turn around and go back the other way. Dead ends may work to stop cars, but they don’t stop people from getting to where they need to go.

And yet history is no stranger to the wall.

In the 5th Century B.C., construction on the Great Wall began in China. The barrier was meant to protect Chinese Dynasties from Mongol invaders to the north.

And more recently, in 1961, Germany erected the Berlin Wall in the aftermath of World War II to tangibly divide the city along political lines.

But try as they could to maintain permanent divisions, these walls couldn’t prevent conflict, and eventually they came tumbling down.

Most recently, heavily fortified walls have attempted to slice the tensions in the Gaza Strip. Though intended for protection, the Israel-West Bank barrier has served as anything but. It was constructed in 1994 to separate Israel from Palestine and maintain strict borders between the two feuding nations. But tensions have continued to grow despite the wall.

The United States has recently signed legislation to construct a $9 billion wall on the Mexican border in an attempt to cut off the steady flow of Mexican immigrants. Because tensions are already hot, a wall, it seems, will do little to quell them.

The thing about walls is that no matter how you look at them, no matter where they are, they only have two sides, and you’re either standing on one side or the other.

They inherently bisect complicated issues, leaving no room for any negotiation in between.

If only things were more clear-cut.

If only standing on the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge was a matter of jumping or not jumping. But it isn’t.