Mark Hebert

LAS VEGAS (CN) —The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and two individuals sued Clark County to halt a recent ordinance that bars pedestrians from stopping in the county's so-called "pedestrian flow zones."

Clark County's pedestrian regulations bar people from stopping or engaging in activities within designated areas, including pedestrian bridges and up to 20 feet around structures like escalators, elevators, and stairs leading to the bridges.

The regulations aim to enhance pedestrian safety by segregating foot traffic from vehicles along the Las Vegas Strip's sidewalks, according to the county. Ground-level crossings where pedestrian bridges exist are also prohibited. Violations are misdemeanor offenses, underscoring the county's commitment to pedestrian safety in urban settings, the county has said.

“Stopping on the pedestrian bridges creates conditions that can foment disorder which, in turn, can lead to crime and serious safety issues. Because pedestrian traffic demand on the bridges varies significantly and unpredictably regardless of day or time of day, it is impossible to know in advance when stopping will result in criminal or otherwise dangerous conditions,” the ordinance states.

The ACLU claims the ordinance unjustly curtails freedoms, particularly criticizing its impact on individuals stopping for selfies on pedestrian bridges, calling the restrictions a violation the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In the lawsuit, plaintiffs Lisa McAllister and Brandon Summers claim the ordinance's vague language and extensive enforcement capabilities pose a significant threat to civil liberties.

Athar Haseebullah, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada's executive director, has been outspoken about the ordinance's far-reaching implications. "The ordinance represents one of the most significant overreaches in recent years, with its broad and ambiguous language criminalizing ordinary, harmless behaviors," Haseebullah said in a statement. He criticized the county's public defense of the ordinance, highlighting a disconcerting lack of clarity about what actions are prohibited, thereby undermining due process and risking selective enforcement.

The suit brings to light the challenges faced by street performers like violinist Summers and individuals with disabilities such McAllister, who uses a manual wheelchair and finds herself directly affected by the restrictions.

They seek a finding that the ordinance and unconstitutional and an order barring the county from enforcing it.

Clark County Commissioners did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.