|Posted by P4PO on September 2, 2018 at 8:25 PM|
New guest blogger here with a very old fight that seems to refuse to die, and trust me, as a former NYC resident, it NEEDS to die.
When we were in the midst of the first battle with the Mayor and the nefarious NYClass, I saw with my own eyes the amazing iconic industry that makes Central Park one of the most visited areas in the state.
Every day on my walk from my apartment in Hell's kitchen, I would pass the hackline and stop and chat with the fabulous drivers as the horses waited to go to work. I ws able to witness the hellacious behaviors the anti-carriage horse zealots displayed and got involved with the fight to save the industry. We won. Or did we?
This past week we learned that DeBlasio has once again bowed to the pressures of a misinformed group of protein starved individuals and now wants to move the carriages to inside the park only.
While this is not an actual "ban" this is the beginning of slowly phasing out a much beloved part of the city.
Our friend and champion of the industry Christina Hansen weighs in with what will happen if this goes through:
"NYCLASS is making it seem like this is good for the horses. It’s not.
It would destroy the business at night, and/or would more or less force drivers to work the streets after 9 PM, as they are allowed to do, but most night drivers prefer to wait on 59th St where everyone knows where they are, and then do a quiet ride in the park. Put the carriages in the dark in the park with no foot traffic, and drivers will obviously go out on the streets then to look for rides after 9 PM (or all day on Sunday).
The proposed locations in the park include 2 spots on steep hills, which means the horses have to work just to keep the carriage from rolling backwards. Drivers would then need to use chocks or the brake constantly, but when the carriage moving up spots continuously, stop and start, one spot at a time, it’s more work.
Another proposed stand at Tavern On the Green is in full sun all day, while all of our current stands on 59th St are in partial shade most of the day year round.
4 of the 5 proposed locations are in spots that do not have an adjacent sidewalk. That means that potential customers must walk in the street, with bicycles and pedicabs and emergency vehicles, and are not protected by a safe curb when approaching the horses, which we all know little kids like to do. This is punishing the carriages, making the horses and their drivers inaccessible to their friends, admirers and potential customers.
(I am always more comfortable with people approaching my horse on the sidewalk than on the street, where there is no obvious safety boundary to a lay person to prevent getting stepped on or inadvertently kicked during fly swatting). The proposal is clearly designed to remove the horses and drivers from easy, safe access/approachability."