Public comments for: DOT Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Traffic Rules--Horse Drawn Cabs

Comments

Comment:
WE NEED A BAN ON HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES! - NOTHING LESS WILL DO. THIS IS AN INDUSTRY OUT OF CONTROL. LAWS DO NOT GET ENFORCED NOW. IT WILL BE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT WITH CARRIAGES IN FIVE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS
Agency: DOT
Comment:
As a lifelong New Yorker, I feel it important to comment on the carriage horses in the city. Simply put- horses do not belong anywhere in our city- not on our streets, not in the traffic and not being used to pull people for a ‘quaint’ ride in our over congested metropolis. This same thinking applies to the ‘new’ proposal of moving the location inside the park. I have seen horses waiting along Central Park South- they do not belong there. The new proposed locations are no better- and in fact, may be worse. I do not see them being well cared for and I do not believe they are ‘loved’ by their owners for anything other than money- because if they were truly adored animals, they wouldn’t be in a hot, hard, noisy city filled with cars and trucks. I do not think we should have any carriages in NYC. I have seen many news articles over the years of horses that have been killed by cars, some that ran loose, others that got spooked. They do not belong in our city- they belong in rural areas with lots of grass and fields- not on asphalt. The carriages become driving hazards when they are on the roads- and they are on the roads- going to and from the stables, and when they take people on rides around the city. Carriages need to be banned from NYC. The new idea of letting them stay inside the park is an old idea and it should be discarded- it is not a good idea. One of the reasons DeBlasio got my vote was his promise to end the carriage horses- I actually thought he had empathy for them. Second term- still waiting. End them now. Ban it now. Most New Yorkers do not see these carriages as quaint. They see (and smell them) as eyesores on the edge of our crown jewel- Central Park! They must go. Ban the carriages now. They do not belong in our city. The horses deserve to have a decent life- not one of trudging on asphalt in all kinds of weather.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages is opposed to the Mayor’s disingenuous plan to move the hack lines because it will not change anything for the horses. We want the industry to be shut down. But some of the arguments from the drivers have no weight and need to be challenged. 1. The old argument that the supporters of a ban want the stables for development is just silly. A walk around the far west side where the stables are will reveal extensive residential and commercial development (by many different developers.) This is being done to improve this area of the city for more people and it will include affordable apartments. Both stables on W. 37th and W. 38th St. are each probably worth between $12M and $15M - maybe more. But each plot is not very large – so it is not like it is some terribly desirable property. The buildings are virtual stand-alones now. It is solely up to the owners whether or not they want to sell. They can stick it out forever – but everyone has a price and eventually the dominos will fall. 2. The lies and hyperbole need to stop. This industry started in the late 1940s when medallions were given out by then Mayor O’Dwyer. Carriage supporters like to say that it is more than 100 years old but everyone rode horses then – including in “taxis.” It is not a continuation of the same business. 3. The drivers like to tout that there are pages and pages of rule and regs. But what they intentionally omit is that most of the observable laws are not enforced. There is no one to do the enforcing. The ASPCA has not been involved for 4 years and the NYPD refuse to be animal cops. This is the best the carriage trade has had it – because the Administration really does not care and the resources and knowledge are just not there. 4. The jobs are not “good union jobs.” When the owners of the 37th and 38th St. stables eventually get an offer they cannot refuse, the driver/non owners will be up the creek without a paddle – meaning – no job; no unemployment insurance. If the unions really cared about them and not their own power, they would help to create a new business (without animals) that was really union – meaning health care, sick days, and pensions – money put away for unemployment insurance, social security and Medicare. This is a dying industry. The Montreal carriage trade is set to shut down at the end of 2019. Other cities are considering it too. Since January 1, 2018, the drivers lost 45 days due to weather conditions. This is far more than last year. When they do not work, they don’t get paid. 5. These horses may work a 9 hour day for 7 days a week – this according to law – all between the shafts of their carriages. They live in stalls half the size they should be and do not have turnout to pasture. It simply does not exist. The 5-week furlough is not good enough and we know that some horses have been put to work during this time.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
I have worked with horses my entire life, but I have no ties to the carriage industry. The changes you are proposing are completely unnecessary. They are a solution in search of a problem. There have been absolutely no problems with the current routes and pick up locations other than a small group of people "don't like them." That is no reason to disrupt law abiding residents and business people's livelihood. It is ridiculous that you are even considering this proposal. It does not help the well-being of the horses, it does not help the people in the industry do a better job, and it does not help the customers either in safety or convenience. In fact, this proposal is detrimental to all those things. If you support your local business, the tourist trade, and the well-being of the carriage horses themselves, you will put this ridiculous proposal in the trash where it belongs.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
As a lifelong professional horseman, farrier,trainer the proposed rule to move the carriages into the park away from the public is not only an end run to hurt the carriage business but a thinly veiled attempt to usurp the stables for further development. The horses are well cared for, content and safe where they are. The current location of the line would be much safer and better served if the police and ASPCA would keep the disruptive protesters away from the stand. I have first hand knowledge of the care and feeding of the horses having visited all the stables over time. Your own study has determined that the carriages is one of the safest methods of transportation in NYC. Please reconsider this plan. Thank You J J Trapani
Agency: DOT
Comment:
These horses are exceptionally well cared for. The amount of hours they work is limited and they have mandatory vacation. they are bred for the work and get great pleasure in doing it. They are a tourism draw for the city. There is no justification for removing them from their current location. The people who are behind this want to get their hands on the location of the stables...valuable real estate. Please do not move these horses
Agency: DOT
Comment:
This proposal is a thinly veiled action to destroy the horse drawn carriage trade in NYC. Keep the horses at their historic and iconic location on 59th St. They have been here for over 100 years. Check your own documents to see that the carriages are the safest form of transportation in NYC.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
Those supporting this hideous and abusive industry, have actually given a host of reasons in some of the comments made, that would fully justify a total ban, like those that have been enacted in so many "civilized" cities in the US and around the world. Clearly, there is NO place in this city for these horses to live the life they deserve, along with humane and compassionate treatment. The "I love my horses" argument is one of the most pitiful and despicable arguments that can be offered, since it is totally self-serving and not even worthy of comment. One can only conjecture about how this small but powerful group of stable owners, responsible for the horrific exploitation of horses, that has caused deaths and serious injuries, to the horses and public, has managed to manipulate politicians, media, and the public, into defending what is clearly an industry that should have been put out of business in the last century. Moving them into the park, as has been analyzed and detailed in many of the comments, will not serve the horses any better than being on the streets...since there is virtually no monitoring of conditions, work hours, adherence to rules and regulations that govern most industries. It is long past time to wake up and sweep this industry into the dustbin of history.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
My first comment was the second one posted - see below. This one concerns the lies about the proposed hacklines having shade for the horses - they will not. On Friday, Sept. 7th, Mayor de Blasio was on the Brian Lehrer radio show answering questions. Someone called in to say that he and his group had visited all five proposed hackline locations and none had shade - the same as the existing ones. Oops! It was an "I gotcha moment" for the Mayor who quickly made a comeback saying that the carriages moved very quickly always picking up new fares so this would not be a problem for the horses. WOW! A total lie. I did my own investigation over the weekend and confirmed that what this man said was true -- no shade. For several years we did peaceful protests at the hackline and often observed carriage drivers endlessly waiting for customers - we wondered how they made any money. We also have pictures of carriages lined up waiting for fares. It is a shame that our mayor has such disregard for the truth an has to pack like upon lie to try to make a point. Instead of putting so much energy into a useless and worthless change, the City needs to put the energy into shutting down the industry and finding real jobs or a new business for the drivers who want them. With the extensive redevelopment on the far west side of Manhattan, at least two of those stables will feel the strong pressure to sell their stables for a big sum. These are not real union jobs so that affected workers will be jobless without even the benefit of unemployment insurance.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
DISINGENUOUS PROPOSAL: This is another case of Alternative Facts by the de Blasio administration via the Department of Transportation. The relocation of the hack line to five different places in Central Park is meant to deceive unquestioning people into believing that the carriages will be off the streets and mixing with cars – and they will get a respite in the “tree-lined park.” This is simply not true. I wonder if the horses look at the green grass in Central Park and wish they were free so they could graze or roll on the grass or back up to a tree to scratch their rump. Instead, they will continue between the shafts of their carriages pulling tourists – in extreme weather conditions, working 9 hours a day, 7 days a week. What we as a society do to these animals in the name of frivolous entertainment is despicable and casts a dark shadow on this city. We support a ban or nothing. But we still ask for honest answers to our questions regarding this new proposal. LAWS NOT ENFORCED: Most of the street laws are not enforced including the ones about leaving horses unattended and untethered (very dangerous) and giving them 15 minute breaks every two hours. If the deBlasio administration had the good faith to try to enforce the existing regulations, it would be even more difficult to enforce in five different locations. HORSES WILL STILL BE IN TRAFFIC: It is a given that the carriages will still go back and forth from the stables on the far west side of Manhattan to Central Park – mixing with heavy traffic. Most accidents have occurred outside the park and hack line. To access the two new locations off Central Park South near 7th and 5th Avenue, the carriages will continue to make illegal U-turns on Central Park South. To access the two locations near Tavern on the Green and W. 72nd St., they will need to go north on Central Park West,, mixing with lots of traffic. To go to the location on E. 72nd st remains a question because Fifth Avenue goes downtown. The drivers will still be able to go around the city, including the Lincoln Center and Times Square areas after certain times in the evening depending on the day. Mixed with heavy traffic.
Agency: DOT

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