Comments

Elizabeth Forel Thu, 09/6/18 - 11:13 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. QUESTIONS: But mostly, we have asked the Dept. of Transportation to provide the new routes/loops - the path taken by the carriages after they pick up passengers. Will they use the streets? We suspect so. We need answers. This is a link to a list of accidents compiled since 1982. https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7693697089040184548#editor/target=post;postID=9074651033043287163;onPublishedMenu=template;onClosedMenu=template;postNum=3;src=postname Elizabeth Forel Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

Victorena Datin Fri, 09/7/18 - 12:03 No one with any equine knowledge can possibly believe that the proposed changes to the hacklines are beneficial to the horses in any way. Standing a horse on sloping ground for long periods of time will not allow them to rest comfortably as they do now, they will have less access to the currently easily accessible water troughs, and some of the newly proposed areas are in full sun for most of the day. No one with any business knowledge can fail to see that this change will adversely affect the public visibility and therefore frequency of the carriage rides, thus reducing their owner's financial ability to provide them with the exemplary care they now receive. No one with the slightest knowledge of the "horse carriage issue" in NYC can fail to see that this is an attempt to "pay off" a campaign donor by instituting policies that will eventually end in the businesses being forced to close. The new "proposed" locations are not accessible to people with disabilities (no sidewalks) and force people with children to attempt to board in areas with pedestrian and cyclist traffic...it's obvious that this "scheme" is intended to harm the carriage industry, and not benefit the horses. Nor can the carriage industry receive a fair hearing from an administration that has vowed to ban them from "day one", predisposed to rule against them...and the obvious bias and ill intent from government toward a legal, law abiding business enterprise, merely to please a wealthy campaign donor, is blatantly unconstitutional.

Patrick McMahon Sat, 09/8/18 - 14:56 I fully support the NYC Horse Carriage Industry. The horses are well cared for and union jobs need to be preserved. Having the horses moved inside Central Park is just another feeble attempt to dismantle the Industry.

Amy Bodman Sat, 09/8/18 - 21:32 Our daughter has been driving carriages for a number of years, now. It's been a dream come true for her since she's loved horses all her life. We are all very concerned about the proposal to move hacklines into Central Park because of the following: 1. Horse carriages will no longer be in a highly visible, well known location, costing the business any walk up rides from passerby that hadn’t initially intended on entering the park, especially at night. 2. Horses will be in traffic more often on the new ride routes they will have to take when they start at these newly designated areas of Central Park. 3. Horses will have to go out of their way to access their water troughs. 4. Horses will be in less shaded areas where it is much warmer while they are on most their new hacklines. 5. Two of the proposed hacklines are on hills which put strain on horses that are trying to rest there. 6. None of the hacklines will be accessible to the community of people with mobility impairments. The points mentioned above will undoubtedly have a far reaching and extremely negative impact on the entire carriage industry of NYC. As you can see, the horses would be in a far more hazardous situation than they are in right now. This just doesn't make sense, as those who are trying to protect the carriage horses do not seem to be aware of the dangers and risks posed in such a move. It seems that many critics also don't realize that the vast majority of carriage horses are treated like family by their owners. They have the best vet care, vacations and 24 hour surveillance. Driving is suspended when weather is determined unsafe. And in general, working horses are much safer in this environment than many uninformed or biased individuals would like you to believe. If you are interested at all, please do the research about what the horrible alternatives actually are for these beloved animals. Growing up on Long Island and going to Juilliard in NYC, I will always consider myself a "displaced New Yorker". That said, NYC has my heart, and with the acceptance of this proposal, I do believe that the damage done to the horses, family owned businesses (many of which have been passed down for generations), and the entire iconic industry would be catastrophic.

denine heinemann Sun, 09/9/18 - 19:35 So after years of broken campaign promises, after years of ignoring our emails, letters, and phone calls, Mayor De Blasio thinks that relocating the hack lines is going to appease us? How, on any planet, is moving the hack lines good for the horses? Mayor, that really *is* the very least you could do for your city's abused carriage horses. We're not going to stop fighting for those animal's rights. We want to *ban* carriage rides, first, last, foremost, period, full stop. We want this abusive and archaic practice to come to an end. Moving where they wait does not stop carriage accidents where the horse is lying in the street, immobile. What a bad joke. There's nothing romantic about carriage rides around Central Park that the horse does not want to do. How about you hitch yourself up to a rickshaw and pull tourists around the park. During the summer. And the winter. And the rain. And the snow. How about it, Mayor? In high heels. Because that's how it is with a horse walking on pavement. No Mayor De Blasio, "moving the hack lines" is *not* a "win for NYC horses". That's a slap in the face and an obvious attempt to gag the ones fighting for the horses. Keep your hack lines.....we're going to continue the fight. Maybe we'll have better luck with the next mayor.

Susan Fanning Sun, 09/9/18 - 19:35 Putting the horses in Central Park is just as bad as leaving them in traffic on the roadways. Somebody needs to care about the horses welfare as well as the public. New York City is a very busy and congested place for people alone but when horses with carriages are thrown in the mix that means the horses and people are at great risk to be severly hurt or killed in this environment. The horses would need to be removed from all traffic areas which would not be the case even if they are moved into Central Park. The right thing needs to be done to protect these horses along with the public as well. Unfortunately this move is not going to accomplish that.

LONNA RICHMOND Sun, 09/9/18 - 20:20 when the mayor of nyc was elected, he said he was going to end the carriage industry in that city. that was one of his campaign promises - this latest iteration of that promise, which has yet to be fulfilled, is NOT good enough. this industry needs to be shut down. these horses are abused, neglected, exploited and that is criminal.

Cindy Wines Sun, 09/9/18 - 22:53 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. This is a link to a list of accidents compiled since 1982. https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7693697089040184548#editor/target=post;postID=9074651033043287163;onPublishedMenu=template;onClosedMenu=template;postNum=3;src=postname . Please be compassionate!!! Agency: DOT PLEASE retire these horses. The hard streets, the traffic, the uncaring drivers all affect their health. They deserve to live out the rest of their lives on green pastures, running and rolling in the grass and flowers. Don't be selfish. It looks bad for New York to force them to work just like they have retired and banned the circus and don't allow elephants there anymore.

Marie Brown Mon, 09/10/18 - 9:39 Regarding the proposal to move the carriage horse hack lines into the park: The new locations provide no shade. The stables are still far away and reachable only through heavy traffic. The horses will still be out on the street. The horses will have no access to water in the new locations. The horses will continue to live horrible, painful, un-natural, cruel lives. Either do away with carriage horses entirely, or bring the entire operation, including stables, into the park and do not allow the horses to be out on the streets at all. New York has become a symbol of animal abuse because of these horses.

Beth Mulhern Mon, 09/10/18 - 12:49 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.

Elizabeth Forel Mon, 09/10/18 - 15:47 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.

Zizi Suleman Mon, 09/10/18 - 16:53 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.

Susan Samtak Mon, 09/10/18 - 22:30 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.

Susan Medley Tue, 09/11/18 - 15:19 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

J J Trapani Tue, 09/11/18 - 21:57 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

Sandy Wallis Sat, 09/15/18 - 13:09 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.

Elizabeth Forel Sat, 09/15/18 - 15:15 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.

Stacy Rauch Sun, 09/16/18 - 19:51 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.

Aggie Monfette Mon, 09/17/18 - 15:55 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

Bill Hirt Thu, 09/20/18 - 22:35 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.

Barbara Steever Sun, 09/23/18 - 14:29 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.

David Forshtay Sun, 09/23/18 - 15:32 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!

Rina Deych Sun, 09/23/18 - 19:50 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.

Emlyn Clark Mon, 09/24/18 - 14:16 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.

Becky Northaven Tue, 09/25/18 - 3:24 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.

Tracy Donovan Tue, 09/25/18 - 15:48 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.

Jill Adamski Tue, 09/25/18 - 17:14 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.

Jill Adamski Tue, 09/25/18 - 17:18 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.

Jill Adamski Tue, 09/25/18 - 17:22 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.

Jill Adamski Tue, 09/25/18 - 17:23 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.

Ken Hart Wed, 09/26/18 - 21:38 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.

ummet kirbiyik Thu, 09/27/18 - 21:36 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

ummet kirbiyik Fri, 09/28/18 - 7:46 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.

DARLINE LEWIS Mon, 10/1/18 - 10:25 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.

Christopher Wlach Mon, 10/1/18 - 12:28 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.

angela shubert Mon, 10/1/18 - 17:06 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

Jennifer Convery Mon, 10/1/18 - 17:12 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.

Colleen Chisman Mon, 10/1/18 - 18:53 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.

Ruby Fifer Mon, 10/1/18 - 20:12 Please leave the horses where they have been for so long. They are much closer to water & the public gets to enjoy the horses that built the great city of New York.

Frank Luo Mon, 10/1/18 - 21:14 Mayor is offering what on its face sounds like a modest change to the way horse carriage industry does business but for horse carriage industry visibility is oxygen. Replacement of hacking locations from 59th street would starve the carriages of the steady flow of customers, a majority of whom now are walk up fare. This proposal will kill the whole industry and will effect more than two hundred hard work families. Mayor De Blasio is all about fulfilling a political promise— putting horse carriages out of business.

Frank Luo Mon, 10/1/18 - 21:30 Mayor is offering what on its face sounds like a modest change to the way horse carriage industry does business but for horse carriage industry visibility is oxygen. Replacement of 59th street hacking locations would starve the carriages of the steady flow of customers, a majority of whom now are walk up fare. Mayor’s proposal is all about fulfilling a political promise—putting horse carriages out of business. What about more than two hundred hardworking families???

Frank Luo Mon, 10/1/18 - 21:42 Mayor De Blasio is offering what on its face sounds like a modest change to the way horse carriage industry does business but for horse carriage industry visibility is oxygen. Replacement of 59th street hacking locations would starve the carriages of the steady flow of customers, a majority of whom now are walk up fare. Mayor De Blasio’s proposal is nothing but fulfilling a political promise— putting horse carriages out of business. What about more than two hundred hardworking families???

Dimitar Krastev Mon, 10/1/18 - 21:49 I have been a carriage driver for seven years and can attest to how detrimental this proposal would be to the business and the welfare of the horses within it. If we are not visable to passerby outside the park, how will potential customers find us? How will we compete with pedicab drivers outside the park? How am I going to earn an income to support the care of my horse and even stay in business? Right now our horses pass by a water trough at the start of every ride, but this proposal has our horses working 10 blocks away from them. How could you pass a proposal that puts our horses at risk for dehydration and leaves them standing on hills between rides when they should be resting? Right now, we are lined up outside the park and I give my tours inside the park. If our pick up locations are moved to the ones proposed inside the park, I will be forced out onto the street to do half my tours and I do not see the benefit of this to my horses or customers. Please consider the welfare of my horse as I do when you make your decision about this rule change.

Jacqueline M Beagan Mon, 10/1/18 - 23:08 The hack lines for the Carriage Horses of New York should stay where they have been for 160 years. They are a necessary and beautiful part of NYC. Tourists come from around the world and the country to see them and to ride with them. New Yorkers love them. This bid to move the lines by involving the Dept of Health and Mental Services and the DOT is a thinly veiled scam by the members of NYCLASS whose only real desire in all this is to get their greedy hands of the property on which the horse stables sit. If the mayor really wanted to improve New York's streets he would put a tax on vehicle ownership within the confines of Manhattan and work toward limiting the number of pollution spewing vehicles in the city. The Carriage Horse industry is a well regulated, well maintained industry. Placing the carriage hack lines within the park place the drivers and their prospective fares in danger as well, especially at night.

Connie Lo Tue, 10/2/18 - 6:00 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 harassing a regulated, legitimate business to placate ill-informed, abusive animal rights zealots. These animals are well cared for.. they have adequate housing.. they are loved by their drivers and care givers.

sheila strong Tue, 10/2/18 - 13:44 the horses are fine where they are. people can see them, give them carrots and take carriage rides. they are not afraid of traffic. they are comfortable at their curb station. they have water troughs, and shade. when they cock a foot they are resting or napping, and comfortable. putting them inside the park where they can't be seen will put the drivers out of business. no one will com into the park at night for romantic night rides. they are a historic part of New York. many tourists come just to see these wonderful creatures. why don't you make a horse carriage lane for the carriages, like the bus lanes and bike lanes that are all over the city.

Julie Kliever Tue, 10/2/18 - 14:24 The proposal to move horses into the Park is very short-dighted. It will have lasting negative affects on the carriage owners, the horses, and the public. With the horses in the Prk, there will be fewer customers, less shelter, and more stress on the animals as they would need to stay parked on a hill. Also, you cannot possibly argue that horses are less safe than cars, it is the opposite. Make the Uber drivers move into the park.

Al Torizzo Tue, 10/2/18 - 14:34 The proposed hacklines within the park will slow or halt walk-up rides especially at night, place the horses far from their water troughs, put the horses in far less shade in the summer, have the horses standing on hills when they should be resting between rides, make the carriages difficult to access by people with mobility impairments, put the horses in the street far more often on their tours, doesn’t even leave enough space for all 68 carriages, and includes an even longer list of negative impacts you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/SaveNYCHorses/posts/1955199707869962?__tn__=K-R No studies were done ‘nor anyone in the industry consulted before this proposal was brought about and it’s being pushed out by the same organization and Mayor DeBlasio that failed to ban the industry.

Cliff Atwood Tue, 10/2/18 - 15:05 I think New York should continue to showcase it's ability to mix old and new, taking pride in its carriages and the calming ambiance they bring. Please don't try to hide them in the park, let them stay where they are, for the benefit of tourism, residents, and even the horses themselves.

Laura McFarland-Taylor Tue, 10/2/18 - 16:14 I lived and worked in New York for years and travel to NYC as often as possible. The first thing I do when I get to your city is go to the hackline to see the carriage horses, horses that have stood in the essentially same spot for over 150 years. Horses that have proven, even in the face of a brutal campaign to outright ban them, that they are well-cared for and well-regulated. The proposed Amendment to the Traffic Rules to designate specific locations for horse carriage passenger boarding areas in Central Park (Section 4-12(t)) is of serious concern as this could be detrimental to the stability of the carriage horse businesses and will not increase safety or the well-being of the horses: Loss of trade means less money to support the horses and the families that work with them; Loss of the night carriage ride business since few tourists will go inside the park after dark; Lack of easy access to the already existing dedicated water troughs for the horses, which is a serious health concern; Less shade than is currently available. To my mind, this proposed Amendment appears to be nothing more than an attempt to do an end run around the miserably failed ban effort to drive the carriage horse business out of the city - frankly, should this Amendment be implemented, and the carriage horses effectively driven out, I will have no reason to come to the city. A carriage horse transports you to another time and makes a city feel more cozy, knowable, and welcoming. Without them, New York City is just another big city. As a lifelong horsewoman I am very concerned about the future of the urban working horse, the difference between working horses and horses in real need, the New York City carriage industry being actual living history, etc., but what has really struck me is the sheer number of people this Amendment would affect, with no upside for the horses. Not just the owners and drivers, but the stablemen, grooms, farriers, veterinarians, tack and carriage makers, hay and grain suppliers, the farmer that composts the manure, Rosie the carrot lady, and all of their families and communities. That’s hundreds and hundreds of people. And not to mention all the people who would otherwise never get to see a horse in person. These men and women live and breathe horses – this is not just a job, it is an avocation. And it is an avocation for those of us who love to see these horses to support them in any way we can. Please keep the NYC carriage horses where they have been comfortable for over 150 years. I urge you to vote “no” to this ill-advised Amendment. Thank you.

Cliff Williamson Tue, 10/2/18 - 16:39 The American Horse Council supports the position of NYC carriage operators. See attached.

Katherine Richards Tue, 10/2/18 - 18:23 Banishing the horses to just the park would not benefit the horses or the business in anyway. Caving in to the animal rights activists would be a loss to all who love horses. Tourists and the horses would miss out on the interactions of just petting or giving carrots. All horses thrive on attention, depriving them of this would benefit no animal loving human and no human loving horse. Please do not believe these protesters care for horses. If they did care they would spend time learning about them.

Mallory Anderson Tue, 10/2/18 - 19:49 Please do not change the current horse drawn carriage route or structure. As someone with 30 years in the equine industry, when I have interacted with the carriage drivers it is apparent that the well being of their animals is paramount. They need their partners sound to make a living, and if they are against these changes it is because they will hurt the well being of their animals. Instead of listening to ideas from parties with clear backgrounds of attacking the industry (NYCLASS supported DiBlasio on this issue specifically) perhaps approach the people affected by it to find a way that will work for them instead of against them. Its time we start talking to the actual experts, instead of those who equate feelings with facts.

Jo Ann Kruger Tue, 10/2/18 - 22:34 As a resident of over 20 years in The Majestic at 115 CPW I have witnessed only an increase in traffic at the W72nd intersection. The W72nd entrance is already the busiest entrance to Central Park, along all of Central Park West, obviously due to it’s two main attractions of The Dakota, and Strawberry Fields. Congesting the area already are: Tour buses double parked on West 72nd Street. Tour buses double parked just north of the bus stop on the NE corner of CPW. Large groups of tourists from the buses in the area photographing The Dakota, and crossing into the Park. Pedicabs already line the entrance - usually about 15 or more as they wait for customers. Citi Bikes were installed on the SE corner of W72nd just two years ago. Popular entry for bicyclist to enter park. Equally popular for runners, people walking dogs. Dogs (even on leash) and horses are dangerous mix. Has the most foot traffic on weekends than all of the other entries (W67th, W77th and W85th - assuming anything North of that makes no sense). The W72nd entry is an already busy access for families on the UWS with children, elderly, and a large amount of dogs. This active intersection is already teaming with busses, pedicabs, bicyclists, Citi Bike users, groups of tourists coming from busses. Adding the horse carriages - with their large imposing carriages and defecating horses is a dangerous, dirty and smelly proposition. I have never seen clean streets or footpaths where the carriages drive, even after they have been supposably cleaned. The pedicabs which many residents see as a nuisance, are at least clean and green. And, if the horse carriages come - what’s next, more street vendors and street acts? W77th Street has none of these above issues. W67 is a good solution since it has a large circular entry/exit. I urge the committee to please reconsider and not use W72 for the horse carriages as it is already a congested area. The Dakota was named, so they say, as it was far north of the bustle of mid-town and lower manhattan and was “way out there in ‘The Dakotas.’ I urge you to retain the neighborhood feel, with the historical Dakota and Majestic at the intersection.

Angelina Tan Tue, 10/2/18 - 23:05 The proposed changes are detrimental to the carriage horses for the following reasons: 1) They will not be as visible to tourists visiting the city. The business will suffer. 2) The horses will have less access to the current easily available water troughs 3) Horses will be stresses and fatigued by standing them on sloping ground for long periods of time. Furthermore the 72nd street entrance on the West side is extremely crowded with Citibike stands, 4bus stops for M10 and M72, halal food stand, smoothie food stand, B/C subway entrance , bus stop for gray line double decker bus on Central Park West, and tourist buses stopping on 72nd street right opposite The Dakota, and parking for pedicabs. This is a residential neighborhood and it is sometimes very hard to navigate children and dogs through the crowds of tourists.

saeed TURK Wed, 10/3/18 - 2:03 Horse and carriage is a historic american icon which truly became NYC icon through the 160 years that have been joy and great memories for millions of people in Central Park. This is a great business for both the operators and the city as well as thousand of men women and children whose lives depend on that business. Therefore the beautiful horses are always taken well care of. People who think the opposite might be either illiterate or have nothing else to-do. As far as the city design goes, the 59th street is well-known with the horse and carriages for long time, there is no traffic issue because of this business. Horses are used for a NYC classic. If horses are bad for some biased people, maybe they should bother NYPD first for using horses in the Police force of NYC

saeed TURK Wed, 10/3/18 - 2:03 Horse and carriage is a historic american icon which truly became NYC icon through the 160 years that have been joy and great memories for millions of people in Central Park. This is a great business for both the operators and the city as well as thousand of men women and children whose lives depend on that business. Therefore the beautiful horses are always taken well care of. People who think the opposite might be either illiterate or have nothing else to-do. As far as the city design goes, the 59th street is well-known with the horse and carriages for long time, there is no traffic issue because of this business. Horses are used for a NYC classic. If horses are bad for some biased people, maybe they should bother NYPD first for using horses in the Police force of NYC

Michael Huarachi Wed, 10/3/18 - 8:20 I have been a resident on 10th Avenue for over 14 years. I am a cyclist, pedestrian, and occasional car driver. I have never, in my life, faced so much danger to commute to and from work - including horse drawn carriages that have NO responsibility to clean up after their animal. Piles of horse shit (although largely flattened by cars) are left behind for cyclists to navigate around. The carriage operators are seen REGULARLY plowing through red lights, turning left on reds, turning right on red lights, and edging their horse into the pedestrian crosswalk in order to give pedestrians a sense of urgency to cross so the horse can cross. It's RIDICULOUS this city allows this barbaric, ancient, and antiquated version of a 'job' to exist. Slave owners did not want to get abolish slavery - should we listen to the horse-carriage industry's argument that they will lose jobs? I do not think so. Learn a new skill, get a new job. It's a public health hazard to allow this industry to have unbridled access to our NYC streets - where pedestrians, pedicab drivers, vehicles, trucks, buses, automobiles, cyclists, and food cart workers ALL compete for street space - and we're gonna let HORSES into this mix??!? WAKE UP NEW YORK CITY!! BAN HORSE CARRIAGE INDUSTRY NOW!!

Jack Kliever Wed, 10/3/18 - 8:31 Horse drawn cabs are safe. The horses that pull them are healthy. These proposed changes will simply make it harder for carriage drivers to make the income necessary to support themselves and their horses. And, that is the whole point. The Mayor can't get the public support to send carriage drivers to the unemployment line and add carriage horses to the steady stream of US horses already being exported for meat every day. This is a sneaky attempt to regulate the business to death.

Alicia Holmes Wed, 10/3/18 - 10:09 I do not support this rule to move the horses to within Central Park this would be detrimental to the city and also detrimental to the owners and animals that work the hack lines. Absolutely abysmal idea fueled by animal rights activists who want to see an end to all human and animal relationships, one law at a time. DO NOT SUPPORT THE MOVE.

Stephanie Earl Wed, 10/3/18 - 10:28 The Mayor needs to end this ridiculous attack on the NYC Carriage Horses and their hard-working drivers. His relentless pandering to the animal rights zealots is a waste of taxpayer time and money. The Horse Carriages are overwhelmingly supported by tourists AND residents of NYC, and if the mayor had the decency to actually go and see the stables and meet with the stewards he would know that there is no cruelty here. There is no need to move them off of Central Park South: Death By A Thousand Cuts... (which is exactly the way animal rights extremists intend to play this). The mayor should instead be worrying about getting the vagrants and homeless off of 40th & Broadway.

Anja Jauernig Wed, 10/3/18 - 11:51 I am a professor at NYU in the philosophy department, and one of my areas of interest is animal ethics. I am speaking in support of the proposed rule changes. I want to make two brief points. The first is a point about what sort of considerations should be given the most weight in deciding the question whether to approve the proposed plan or not. I want to stress that the issue before us is primarily an ethical issue, and, as such, ethical considerations should be paramount in our thinking about it. The main ethical consideration in play concerns the welfare of the horses. In this online comments section, in arguing against the proposal, several people have appealed to the business interests of the horse cab drivers and of the tourism industry, as well as to the tradition of horse carriage riding in Central Park. But those are not ethical considerations, or, at least, insofar as they are ethically relevant, they are far outweighed by the welfare interests of the horses. Let me give a brief analogy. Suppose there is a foreign country in which the tourism industry and the business interests of a group of people depends on the exploitation of an underprivileged class, e.g., think of forced sex labor of poor women and children; and suppose that this exploitation has been going on for many years. If, in response to a challenge of these exploitative practices, the government of this country were to reply that the practices are part of a long tradition, and that the business interests of the tourist industry and of the people running the establishments in question depend on it, we would not regard this as a satisfactory response or justification, precisely because those considerations are not ethically relevant or not ethically weighty. What is of paramount ethical importance in the imagined scenario is the welfare interests of the exploited group. Similarly, in the situation before us today, what is of paramount ethical importance is the welfare interests of the horses. And since our question (of whether to approve the proposed rule changes or not) is an ethical question, the welfare interests of the horses should be our most important concern overall. My second point is just to reiterate what other people have already said, namely, that, as far as the welfare of the horses is concerned, it is in their best interest for the hack line to be moved inside the park, since this would avoid the risks and stress associated with its current location at Central Park South. From an ethical point of view, the carriage horses should be retired. Since that is unfortunately still not on the agenda, the very least we can do for them is to work on improving their conditions, and moving the hack line into the park is an important step in doing that. We owe it to them, and we owe it to us.

Aria Chiodo Wed, 10/3/18 - 12:27 I am highly in favor of the proposed rule to move the hack line of carriage horses from Central Park South to inside the park. It is a safety hazard for horses and people to have them on such a busy street. This is a no-brainer. Horses do not belong on the street--they should have at least some protection inside the park. Thank you, Aria Chiodo Astoria, NY

Beth Miller Wed, 10/3/18 - 12:46 I have been a resident of the West 72 street neighborhood since 1957. I have seen the park entrance at West 72nd street get more and more crowded. It has become increasingly more difficult for seniors to navigate the area. With the possibility of horse and buggies coming to the area it will be prohibitive to access the area for people with limited physical abilities. For many people it is the closest entrance to the park, and with this new proposal it will cut off the park entirely. Please do not let this proposal pass!

Teresa Russo Wed, 10/3/18 - 14:46 Although this would move the hack line into the park and away from cars, the proposed rule does not go far enough in easing traffic problems around Central Park, nor does it have a sufficient impact on preventing accidents involving horse drawn carriages. The horses will still be walking through traffic from the stables, which are as far away as 38th Street and 11th Avenue, on their way to Central Park. There will be plenty of opportunities for accidents involving the carriages. The safety of pedestrians and drivers, as well as the horses, will continue to be compromised. The rule also does not address the problem of the drivers making illegal u-turns in the middle of traffic while on cell phones. Any laws regarding the conduct of the drivers in traffic, if they exist, are not enforced, so there will still be the opportunity for accidents involving the horses that could result in injuries, and even fatalities. At a time when the MTA together with the DOT have been working to solve the continuous traffic congestion problem in Midtown, the presence of horse drawn carriages will continue to exacerbate the problem. Even if the hack line is moved into Central Park, that won’t do much for the comfort of the horses, who will still be standing on hard pavement, which will be hot in the summer. They will also continue to walk through heavy vehicular traffic on their way to and from Central Park. I am in favor of anything that might help the horses, so while moving the hack line into the park is better than leaving it on the street among motor vehicles, I am asking the DOT to consider going further with a rule banning the carriages from all New York City Streets.

Walker Blankinship Wed, 10/3/18 - 14:51 I have had the privilege to work with the Department of City Planning and the DOT before regarding horse traffic in Prospect Park. It was a productive experience because everyone affected was invited to participate in forming a plan. When I heard about this hearing regarding moving carriage stands in Central Park I was dismayed to hear that the carriage drivers , residents, tourists and Community Boards were never asked to participate. It is no surprise then that the proposed rule change has no consideration for the horses and the businesses that support them. The rule change is supposed to lower the number of hours that horses work in the streets outside the park when in reality it increases the hours horses work on the streets around the outside of the park. In essence the change doesn't not accomplish its goal. While increasing travel hours on streets the rule change adds hardships for both the horses, the businesses and people taking carriage rides. The carriage businesses that support the horses must try to get customers further into the park and past competitors. Customers will have difficulty finding where to get rides especially at night. People with disabilities will not have access as they do now. The proposed stands do not all have sidewalks or level ground or better shade. But I think the best testimony I can offer to your department is from the perspective of my horses who cross a busy traffic circle. Horses are herd animals and creatures of habit. By spilting up the carriage stands to multiple locations and more varied routes is not what a horse wants. Each horse is different some find traffic and more bustle to be comforting some may find activity or the lack of activity in the park to be not be comforting. The only people who can speak for each horse is the driver who works with them. They are telling you this rule change should be rejected and their horses are telling you to reject this rule change through them.

Margaret Lee Wed, 10/3/18 - 15:14 It is a disgrace that NYC continues to accept and support animal exploitation. NYC should have been the leader in banning horse-drawn carriages altogether. Thankfully other more ethically evolved cities have led the way in finally calling an end to this archaic practice of institutionalized animal cruelty. I am appealing to NYC to immediately put compassion over dollars by stopping this exploitive industry and follow the lead of cities who have done the right thing for our animal friends.

Michael Huarachi Wed, 10/3/18 - 18:02 Comment submitted on behalf of Rebecca Milvich: If the conduct of the horse carriage industry in the crowd today is an example of a conduct in which they treat the horses and the public, this industry should be ended today! We have witnessed immaturity of delinquent proportions It is a disgrace that New York City is protecting these individuals instead of the ones that live compassionately over investing in bullying mentalities in our community. It's interesting and disgraceful that no one from the industry has even mentioned or apologized for the fact that there was an accident yesterday for a horse collapsed. The individuals here today have even threatened New Yorkers that they will not abide by the laws imposed.