A new ordinance is meant to prevent people from stopping on pedestrian bridges on the Las Vegas Strip.
In November, Clark County commissioners introduced the ordinance, which advocated for creating "Pedestrian Flow Zones", which would include pedestrian bridges and up to 20 feet surrounding those areas. People who violate the ordinance by stopping in those areas would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.
Officials said the ordinance would address safety issues on the Strip.
According to a report by UNLV Criminal Justice professor Dr. William H. Sousa, from 2018 to 2022, there was a 23% increase in disorderly calls for service on Las Vegas Boulevard, and 11% of those calls were reportedly on pedestrian bridges.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Undersheriff Andy Walsh addressed commissioners on Tuesday to express his support for the ordinance.
"For some time, we have been concerned about crowd crush with the events on Las Vegas Boulevard," Walsh said. "What we see is when the pedestrian bridges get packed, it's difficult for officers to get on those bridges and maintain order."
According to officials, the ordinance will affect everyone, including street performers. While street performers won't be allowed to stop on pedestrian bridges, city officials stated the performers will still be allowed to perform on the streets below.
Despite commissioners approving the ordinance Tuesday night, Athar Haseebullah, the executive director of ACLU Nevada said officials can expect litigation to challenge it.
"If we say crime is up and we criminalize the act of stopping, your crime rate naturally will increase if that's put into place," Haseebullah said. "This notion that crime rates are up is not actually telling."
Commissioner Jim Gibson said this ordinance is "clean, clear, and direct" and that the commission has to trust that LVMPD will be "fair and equitable" in how it's enforced.
"It is my view that with the kind of education that will occur there that we won't have issues," he said.
This story was originally published by Jarah Wright at Scripps News Las Vegas.
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