Allegations That New Las Vegas Strip Bridge Restrictions Discriminate Against People With Disabilities

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 08: Signage for Super Bowl LVIII is displayed on a pedestrian bridge on the Las Vegas Strip ahead of Super Bowl LVIII on February 08, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

An individual who relies on a wheelchair because of a spinal injury has alleged that the county encompassing Las Vegas is unfairly singling out individuals with disabilities with its recent prohibition on standing or stopping while crossing pedestrian bridges on the Strip, as per a federal lawsuit filed on Friday.

“Labeling regular individuals as criminals for briefly stopping, such as our client who needs to take breaks due to using a manual wheelchair, is irresponsible,” stated Athar Haseebullah, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada.

One month after the ordinance was implemented in Clark County, the ACLU filed a legal challenge.

The new law states that it is now a misdemeanor to halt, linger, or participate in behavior that results in another individual stopping on pedestrian bridges along the Strip. That also covers an area of up to 20 feet (6 meters) around connected stairs, elevators, and escalators.

Those who break the ordinance may be subject to a maximum of six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Allegations of Discrimination on Pedestrian Bridges in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 02: A sign at a pedestrian bridge entrance at the shuttered MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip displays a hopeful message as a result of the statewide shutdown due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus across the United States on April 2, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


The prohibition does not cover standing or stopping for individuals waiting to use an elevator, stairway, or escalator, but it does not provide an exception for individuals who stop due to a disability.

The lawsuit states that Lisa McAllister frequently comes to a halt unexpectedly, either due to fatigue in her arms, wheelchair malfunctions, or obstacles in her path caused by other individuals. This is because she is unable to stand or walk as a result of a spinal injury.

Due to this, the lawsuit claims that the ordinance has prevented McAllister and others with disabilities from using pedestrian bridges on the Strip as they are unable to cross without stopping. The ordinance has also prevented McAllister from going back to the Strip.

Tourists frequently pause on pedestrian bridges in the popular tourist area to capture photos of the vibrant casino lights or enjoy the street performers.

The ACLU of Nevada has requested a judge to invalidate the ordinance, arguing that it infringes on the rights of individuals with disabilities as well as rights safeguarded by the First Amendment, such as protesting or performing in public.

The lawsuit claims that Clark County has prohibited activities that are granted the highest protections under the First Amendment.

There was no immediate response from the county on Friday regarding the lawsuit. In a statement last month, it was mentioned that the ordinance is aimed at enhancing public safety by maintaining a continuous flow of pedestrian traffic across the bridges, rather than targeting street performers or individuals pausing to take pictures.

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