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

Comments

Comment:
This proposal should be rejected because of the following reasons (Part 2)… Potential customers would be lost when tourists would wind up taking pedicab rides that do still line up outside the park when offered them, not knowing they could have had the option of a horse carriage ride and would have been able to see the park the way Fredrick Law Olmsted had designed it to be seen. None of the hacklines will be easily accessible to the community of people with mobility impairments because they are being placed far from curbs, on hills, and away from automobile drop offs. Street traffic would become more unsafe because cars currently slow down to pass slow moving horse carriages that would no longer be there. Four out of five newly proposed hacklines don’t have an adjacent sidewalk meaning potential customers must walk in the street among bicycles, pedicabs, and emergency vehicles without protection from a safe curb to approach the horses, which is what small children often do. This makes the horses inaccessible to their admirers and potential customers. Horse carriages have lined up on Central Park South hacklines, beautifully framing the south side of the park since before Central Park had been constructed, opening in 1857. It’s an iconic sight and a piece of history that would be forever lost. One of the proposed hacklines near Tavern On The Green is never in the shade until the very late afternoon, and is in the hottest part of the current route. Of the other four proposed hackstands only one hackline is well shaded, while the other three are no more or less shady than their current ones. Carriage horses current hacklines are in a mixture of sun and shade. At the height of the summer months in June and July, there is a lot of sun in the morning up until 1 or 2pm, when the shade takes over most of 59th street. The hackline across from The Plaza is in intermittent shade in the morning from the talls, and then again in the late afternoon. One person took the temperatures over four hours at both the newly proposed pick up spots and the current ones, discovering the new spots are indeed much hotter. Not only will the horses have to rest in hotter temperatures in the summer, more business will be lost when heat suspensions go into effect much earlier because the mounted police take the temperature at the hacklines, rather than where the horses briefly walk by. The proposed hackstands at 7th Ave and at W 72nd St are on a fairly steep slope, which isn’t a problem for intermittent use, but for long-term, day-in and day-out use puts a significant amount of extra strain on the horse, having to hold some portion of the weight of the carriage in the collar while allegedly at “rest” unless the brake or chocks are constantly and consistently used. This isn’t an issue where they currently park on flat ground.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
This proposal should be rejected because of the following reasons (Part 1)… Horse carriage hacklines have been on 59th Street (Central Park South) for over 160 years and are currently highly visible making it easy for tourists to find them just outside the walls of the park. Many passerby who take carriage rides had never initially intended on entering the park, especially at night. Most of the business depends on these walk-up rides. Horse carriage owners rely on the income from both day and night shifts to cover the high cost of the upkeep of their horses. This will be an "out of sight, out of mind, out of business" move. Not one of the rarely occurring accidents within the industry has happened that would have been prevented had a hackline been in the park. There is no evidence accidents would decrease from their already extremely low numbers if horses lined up at these newly proposed locations as opposed to where they currently are. There has been no study done to support these claims. Most of the newly proposed hacklines within Central Park would cause carriage horses to take a new route on their rides that puts them in the street more often, which doesn’t make as pleasant of a ride for those seeking a ride inside the park, and extends rides for tourists who don’t have the time or budget for lengthier options. (Nearly every customer prefers a loop rather than a destination ride. One example of this is someone that wants a 15-20 minute ride from the proposed W 72nd hackline. A driver would exit the park onto the street Central Park West, head back into the park at the 77th street entrance, back down the West Drive to Tavern on the Green, then out of the park at 67th street exit into the street on Central Park West back to the 72nd street entrance. Another example would be a short ride from the proposed Tavern on the Green hackline that would go down the West Drive, out of the park into the street at 7th Ave onto Central Park South, through Columbus Circle onto the street of Central Park West and back into the park at the 67th street entrance.) The horses currently spend very little time in the street on their short and long loops. The newly proposed hackline configuration would mean that at least half of the starting points of ride routes would only be able to access the horse water troughs by making a significant detour on an already very long ride. The current hacklines make it very easy for horses to go past a water trough on each and every ride. The Central Park Conservancy has not shown a willingness or plan of installing more water troughs. Currently the water troughs would be 10 blocks away from either of the ride examples mentioned in the above bullet point and on the street in traffic.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
Just leave the horses and drivers be. This is nothing more than a poorly disguised attempt to harm their business, by decreasing their visibility. The proposed changes would offer less shade for the horses on warm days. Stop harrassing a regulated, legitimate business to placate ill-informed, abusive animal rights zealots.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
I support the NYC Carriage Horses continuing to have their hack stands on Central Park South and Grand Army Plaza, where they have been for 160 years and where they continue to be one of the safest modes of transportation in NYC. Relocating the carriages to inside Central Park will negatively affect drivers livelihoods and thus will put the carriage industry out of business. If there are no horse carriage rides in NYC, then there is no point in our family visiting NYC ever in the future. It is an iconic part of NYC culture and history and should be preserved.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
I am a horse owner from upstate New York. I have experience working with rescued horses, one of which is a popular breed used in the carriage industry. With the experience and knowledge I have on equine care and management, I firmly believe that the carriage horses in New York City are well taken care of and meet and exceed every regulation the city currently has for them. That being said, the proposed move of the hack line into the park is detrimental to the care of these horses. Their current location on 59th has been the home of the hack line for over a century. It is level, flat ground that New Yorkers have grown accustomed to. There is easy access to water troughs, plenty of available shade throughout the day, easy access to the carriages for disabled persons and is highly noticeable to those walking by the park who may not have otherwise thought to take a carriage ride. Should these rules go into effect, horses will now be waiting for rides on hills within the park; which will lead to physical stress on their bodies. They will also be further from water sources and in largely sunny areas. The temperatures in these spots will become hotter faster than the current hack line location. The routes to the proposed hack lines will also put horses, drivers and passengers in more traffic than they currently are (Isn't it the goal of these proposals to take them out of traffic?). These proposed locations are also not accommodating of disabled persons seeking carriage rides. And lastly, the industry will suffer from the move. They will lose walk up business, especially in the evening hours, from people who would have normally stopped for a ride as the carriages will be less visible to the public. This will hurt tourism in New York City overall. In conclusion,this is just a thinly veiled plot to destroy the carriage industry. It must be reconsidered and not implemented.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
While I applaud the decision to move the horses out of traffic and into the park, it is not enough. They will still be subjected to unyielding traffic when walking to their awful stalls on the West Side. They will still be working 9 hours a day, seven days a week without any turnout time and no access to much-needed water. Many of them will still be sold at auction to kill buyers and brutally slaughtered (as their “reward” for pulling carriages their whole lives?). For shame on the Mayor and the City Council for not outright banning the carriages. This should have been done many decades ago and the horses sent to sanctuaries.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
I worked as a carriage driver, theatrical animal handler, and truck driver in NYC for 14 years and am now an RN for the past 24 years. Even though the proposed rules would have no effect on my livelihood now, it would sadden me to see my friends’ lives so disrupted. The people in the carriage business are animal lovers and they happen to know quite a bit more about their horses than the people who would propose to get them off the streets. The carriage stands should remain on Grand Army Plaza and Central Park South where tourists and residents alike can see them. They are a treasure and have been a beloved fixture and tradition in New York for 160 years. To restrict their operation within the confines of Central Park is an attempt to shut down the business. Let them thrive; horse drawn cabs are the embodiment of why people love New York!
Agency: DOT
Comment:
It seems apparent from the other comments that the only thing that carriage supporters and animal rights activists agree on is that relocating the carriage boarding areas inside of the park does not help the horses. So, why do it? It only helps DeBlasio by placating his financial supporters from NYCLASS. The mayor has no interest in the horses well-being. He just wants them out of his way in order to get their valuable real estate on the market. I've owned horses for over 40 yrs. I've seen a lot in that time. My visit to NYC showed me well cared for horses that were immune to the routine noises of the city. Despite the protests of people who have never cared for a horse, they will not necessarily be better off in the country. The idea that they will be romping in grassy fields with flowers is right out of a Disney movie. The ignorance of the protesters is truly astounding, and hypocritical since they are mostly OK with police horses in traffic and used for crowd control. I respectfully request that this proposed rule be tabled. It will create a problem where none currently exists as far as the welfare of the horses is concerned. If you really want to help the horses, try keeping the noisy, sign waving protests away from them.
Agency: DOT
Comment:
I'd like to submit my opinion about locating one of the horse carriage locations at the West 72nd Street entrance to Central Park: It is dangerous and crazy. At just this one entrance we already have the docking station for the Citibikes, the parking area for the pedicabs, the halal food cart, the smoothie food cart, the gyro food cart, the bus stop for the Gray Line double-decker tour bus, the tourists visiting the Dakota, the entrances to the C/B subway lines, and the M10 bus stop. And now you want to add horse drawn carriages to that??? Meanwhile, six blocks south, you have an unused parking lot behind the Tavern on the Green as well as an unused carriage circle in front of tavern on the Green. Why can't you just put the West Side's horse-drawn carriage location only there? Or at the West 77th Street entrance to the park across from the NY Historical Society & Natural History Museum? The 72nd Street entrance to the Park is already too jammed packed with all these other obstacles. They already there make stepping off the curb risky. Neighborhood people who enter the park there simply to jog, walk, or ride their bike are having a hard time getting past this obstacle course. And what will you do when you have big events like Global Citizen and the NY Marathon that already use that same entrance too? This is one bad idea. Put those carriages only at 66th Street. Thank you for reading.
Agency: DOT
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

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