New York City officials announced yesterday that a deal has been reached to keep some horse-drawn carriages in Central Park and build a new in-park stable for the horses rather than ban them altogether.
Mayor Bill de Blasio in a joint statement with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Teamsters union, which represents the carriage drivers stated, "We are pleased to have reached an agreement in concept on the future of New York's horse carriage industry," Once the stable is complete, all travel and operations will be inside Central Park, providing space for 68 carriages and 75 horses, officials said.
From my perspective this deal makes sense. This will allow this New York tradition to continue and keep the horses in the park. From a realistic standpoint, it keeps the majority of the full-time drivers, those drivers who driving a carriage is their fulltime job, employed. Those who did it part time probably will see that work disappear. It also means the current West Side stables will probably be turned into condos (which many believe was the real reason for the fight to ban the carriages.)
This is New York City so expect some opposition to the deal. The Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages has already come out stating that it remains “absolutely” opposed to any plan that does not ban carriage horses altogether.
But with the City Council, Mayor and Unions united expect this plan to go through.
I will be headed off to college in the summer and am glad this issue is finally resolved and that this 150 year old Iconic NYC tradition has been saved.