The Clark County Commission is considering a new ordinance that could have a significant impact on Las Vegas tourists. The proposed ordinance would create “pedestrian flow zones” on 15 pedestrian bridges across the Las Vegas tourist corridor, as well as within 20 feet of adjoining escalators, stairs, and stairs. Under this new rule, it would be unlawful to stop, stand, or engage in any activity that causes another person to stop or stand within these designated zones.
The measure is a response to concerns about pedestrian congestion on the bridges, particularly during events like the recent F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. The proposal comes after an analysis by UNLV’s Department of Criminal Justice revealed a 23% increase in calls for disorderly behavior on Las Vegas Boulevard from 2018 to 2022, with 11% of these occurring on bridges.
In addition to congestion issues, the proposed ordinance has raised civil rights concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has cautioned that the ordinance may violate the First Amendment right to assembly. According to Athar Haseebullah, executive director of the Nevada ACLU, the ordinance could restrict protected First Amendment activities, such as protests, street performances, and religious services.
However, the ordinance contends that there would be “ample” space for free speech on sidewalks that are not part of the proposed pedestrian flow zones. Despite these assurances, it is expected that the ordinance’s potential impact on civil liberties will lead to legal challenges if it is passed.
The proposed ordinance also raises questions about the impact on tourism and the local economy. Las Vegas relies heavily on tourism, and any measures that restrict the activities of visitors could have negative repercussions for the city’s reputation and economic health.
A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled to be held during the next Clark County Commission meeting on December 5th. If approved, the ordinance could change the way tourists experience and navigate the Las Vegas tourist corridor.