Las Vegas will not tolerate lollygagging.
Stopping on pedestrian bridge or overpass or pavement on the Las Vegas Strip could now land tourists a hefty fine.
Clark County approved new rules this month that would make it a ‘misdemeanor’ to stand, stop to take in the views or cause another pedestrian to slow down, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
One of the commissioners, Jim Gibson, said the new rules were aimed at “keeping every pedestrian… safe,” and would apply to the city’s “pedestrian flow zones”.
The bylaw will be marked in designated ‘flow zones’ with warnings of US$1,000 ($1600) fines or up to six months in jail. Best not stop to read the signage too thoroughly!
However this odd bylaw was quick to draw backlash from locals and tourists alike.
American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada said they would not stand around and let this law erode pedestrians’ rights.
“Making criminals out of ordinary Nevadans stopping for a mere moment on the pedestrian bridges they fund as taxpayers is lunacy,” Civil Liberties Union diretor Athar Haseebullah told the Journal.
However the commissioners say the new bylaws and establishment of pedestrian flow areas are the city’s attempt to address crowding and overtourism.
The Las Vegas Strip in Nevada’s gaming and leisure capital is one of the most visited thoroughfares in America. Last year saw 55.4 million passengers fly in through the Las Vegas Harry Reid Airport. After coming to a complete standstill during the 2020 pandemic, visitors are back at a record high.
Events such as the Las Vegas Grand Prix made the streets in Las Vegas difficult to navigate. Photo / Maggie Shannon, The New York Times
The city is now seeing the influx of tourists pile up at pedestrian crossings, particularly on overpasses and foot bridges.
The Clark County lawmakers say the law is aimed at preventing congestion, crime and even accidents at some of the bridges which are served by escalators.
Events such as the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix have shown that the overpasses can become bottlenecks with pedestrians stopping to get a better view.
It remains to be seen how this law will be enforced by the city. However, unless you’re the gambling type, it’s best not to stop for a selfie on Sin City’s pedestrian overpasses.
“The Pedestrian Flow Zone ordinance will help to ensure our world-class tourism destination remains a safe place for people to visit and transverse,” said a statement from Clark County.
While some argue it’s a tough, common sense approach to the return of record crowds others see it as cutting against the grain of Vegas’ laissez faire attitude.
Pedestrian Flow Zones: The speed read of Las Vegas’ no stopping rules
- The new rules come into effect this month
- The designated flow zones extend 6 metres from foot bridges, stairwells and escalators
- It’s still possible to stop for ‘essential activities’
- Stopping in one of the flow zones is will be punishable by up to 6 months in jail or a fine of up to US$1000
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