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

Comments

Comment:
After 160 years of iconic new york city rides, they will be nowhere to be seen. On top of that, the welfare of the horses will take a beating. There will be less shaded spots to stand in, and no flat ground to stand on either, with no access to water troughs. In the new location if anyone with disabilities want to ride, it will be more difficult for them to get to the horses. Since the rides will be hidden away, there will not be as much business and as a result, less money to care for horses.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
For 160 years Central Park South has been a beacon for NYC, lined with beautiful horses and carriages beckoning New Yorkers and tourists alike to take a trip through the park. It is one of the reasons people all over the world choose a trip to NYC and frankly should have been designated a historic landmark long ago. Instead we have a mayor playing political football with an industry that he said on the first day as mayor that he would ban from the city for good. His reasons have by now been well documented. He has made political promises that he intends to make good on one way or another. All one needs to do is google DeBlasio, Horse carriages, real estate industry, payback. It's all there in black and white from the NY Daily News to the New York Times. He failed an outright ban because he could in no way lay out an argument that made any sense before the city council hearing. Fast forward to today. He will dismantle the industry by stealth, piece by piece, with this rule change taking them out of sight, out of mind. Put the horses where no one can find them and watch the industry slowly starved of business. He could not get his ban the open way, so he will get it however he can. Still he provides zero proof, or reason whatsoever. I’m sorry, but that is just not good enough. Does anyone care about these horses besides their owners and drivers? About the 200 union jobs that they provide, as well as the many horses that they have rescued from slaughter? Yes, we do. New Yorkers like me who have grown up in this city and care about its history. Central Park South is an iconic place. I recommend you all to go there and see. If anything, it should be the pedicabs and vendors that have overwhelmed the famous street that should be restricted. The horse carriages are the reason people make a point of walking that route, to get just a glimpse of the majestic beauty and the lovely carriages that make this city special, and to take a ride through one of the most beautiful parks in the world. New York has already let the real estate industry have their way under this mayor. So much history destroyed so quickly. Please don't let them take away what makes it so special here. These horses and this city deserve better. As the New York Daily News has said in regards to this proposal, it is nothing but a slow walk to the glue factory for these horses if this passes.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
It is shameful that you would violate these carriage owners constitutional rights and participate in the Animal Terrorism Act while doing so. https://www.congress.gov/109/plaws/publ374/PLAW-109publ374.pdf
Agency: DOT
Comment:
Please see the attached written comment from the Animal Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, to be read at the October 3, 2018 hearing.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
This should be rejected. It is an obvious move to put the carriage horse drivers out of business by trying to hurt them again, moving them off of Central Park South and into unsuitable locations inside the park, where they will not be able to be seen or approached safely and where they will be far from their water troughs. Not only will this have a negative impact on horse welfare and on the carriage business, it will also deprive the public of the opportunity to interact with our horses, and will destroy the unique, wonderful character and charm of Central Park South and Grand Army Plaza.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
I have been a horse carriage driver for 15 years and we never encountered any problems on 59th street. Moving the customer pick up areas is just a tactic to restrict and limit our business. First of all, we will get less customers during the day. The evening shift will be nonexistent. Many tourists don’t want to go alone in the park after dark and feel comfortable taking a carriage ride to enjoy the park in the evening. However, if the pick up area change, we risk not having any customers after dusk. There is absolutely no benefit, or increased safety by changing the pick up areas; it will only cause financial burden for many families supported by the horse carriage business.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
I have been a horse carriage driver for 15 years and we never encountered any problems on 59th street. Moving the customer pick up areas is just a tactic to restrict and limit our business. First of all, we will get less customers during the day. The evening shift will be nonexistent. Many tourists don’t want to go alone in the park after dark and feel comfortable taking a carriage ride to enjoy the park in the evening. However, if the pick up area change, we risk not having any customers after dusk. There is absolutely no benefit, or increased safety by changing the pick up areas; it will only cause financial burden for many families supported by the horse carriage business. Agency:DOT
Agency: DOT
Comment:
I work and drive in NYC and would like to see carriage horses removed from city streets, just as many other cities have done. Horse-drawn carriages may seem "quaint," but they are a burden on car traffic, and the horses are the only ones in this whole debate who get no say about their welfare. They should NOT be in traffic, and they should NOT be made to suffer on congested city streets simply for our "pleasure." There have been too many accidents, harming both people and the animals, which never ends well for the horses (they are often sent to slaughter). If we can't end this shameful practice and give some honest, serious thought to their well-being, let's please at least show some compassion and sensitivity and move them into Central Park.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
This proposal should be rejected because of the following reasons (Part 4)… Mayor DeBlasio has suggested bus routes replacing the current carriage hacklines which would add pollution, noise, and congestion to Central Park South, while creating an ugly frame around Central Park, when Olmsted's vision of the park had carriages mentioned in the landscape. People who moved to Central Park South for the view of the carriage horses will lose that with the newly proposed hacklines and The Ritz Carlton will no longer be able to provide children with carrots to feed the horses across the street from the hotel if they are no longer there, as they currently do daily. Some night shift drivers have concerns for their safety if they are being placed nearly in the middle of no where of the park rather than a highly visible public street late at night. If this proposal goes through it could be used as leverage for animal rights extremists to push horse carriage and other animal industries in other cities out of sight as well. NYCLASS and their supporters have not been very shy in admitting this proposal is a step towards an outright ban, as they have advocated for over many years. NYCLASS is lead by a real estate tycoon, that has shown an interest in the prime real estate NYC horse carriage stables sit upon. He made a deal to get our mayor elected if he banned horse drawn carriages, but because city council had no interest in doing so, they reached out to agencies which could make certain changes in the industry without a bill going through city council. NYCLASS knows that this is a proposal that will harm the industry and not actually do any help to the horses that work in it.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
This proposal should be rejected because of the following reasons (Part 3)… While one can currently pick a carriage they’d like to go with at the current 5th Ave hacklines around Grand Army Plaza, it would be difficult for a carriage to leave the line at the newly proposed stand outside the zoo, off the 5th Ave entrance, as there are stone paths on either side. This would also make it difficult for a horse to leave the middle of the line if their shift finishes before the others, which is a common occurrence. NYC issues 68 horse carriage medallions which all operate, but the newly proposed hacklines don't fit 68 carriages. Horse carriage drivers can currently change the hackline they are waiting on if it’s moving particularly slow with ease, while newly proposed hacklines would take more time to travel to. The new proposal only allows horse carriages to stop and have customers board and leave the carriage at the newly designated hacklines which means if a line is full, drivers can not return their customers to their original pick up spot and have to spend time working their horse, driving around looking for another place to park. A few other examples that this impacts are that horse carriages will also no longer be permitted to bring customers up the hill at Strawberry Fields to allow them to get out of the carriage to see the John Lennon memorial, get out of the carriage at Bethesda Terrace to go down the stairs to see the fountain, ‘nor do drop off/pick up rides to museums surrounding the park. One of the draws for tourists to take rides is that carriage drivers take them to see destinations such as Strawberry Fields and Tavern on the Green, but if the hacklines are there as a starting point, potential customers may be less inclined to take a ride through parts of the park they’ve already seen. Horse carriages will still be in the street driving to and from their stables and the park, and drivers that have the option to work in Times Square (after 11:30pm, earlier on Sundays) or Rockefeller Center (after 9:30pm, earlier on Sundays) would choose to more often, as it’s a place they can be highly visible if their other option is to be hidden within the park at night. Trucks, ambulances, and other official vehicles also still travel through Central Park, so the newly proposed hacklines don’t actually eliminate their (insignificant) interactions with traffic. The industry currently has an incredible safety record with accidents being extremely rare and no issues have been found with them working alongside traffic. The newly proposed hacklines don't have easy accessibility to restrooms for carriage drivers. Drivers will have to spend time training all their horses on where the new hacklines are if the proposal goes through.
Agency: DOT

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