De Blasio is making another effort to ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC. Here’s what you need to know.

A spokesman for horse-drawn carriage owners later issued a statement saying the horse was suffering from a genetic disease. He quoted a veterinarian as saying there was no evidence of malpractice.

The most recent recorded incident came in September when a horse fell to the ground after being hit by the driver of a car.

“By the year 2021, horses have no place to draw tourists on busy city streets,” said Ally Feldman Taylor, founder of Voters for Animal Rights and a former CEO of NYCLASS. “This is a practice that is long past its time, and for a city to really call itself progressive, we can not have horses pulling heavy wagons in busy city streets.”

De Blasio has repeated this feeling.

“The horse-drawn carriages just do not make sense. They are inhuman, “de Blasio told reporters on Monday. “It’s the 21st century for God’s sake.”

Other cities, including Chicago, have banned horse-drawn carriage rides.

What is the mayor’s plan?

De Blasio has only said he will ban horse-drawn carriages and replace them with “show cars” intended for tourists. In 2014, NYCLASS unveiled a prototype of an electric vehicle that resembled a tourist car from the early 20th century.

Called the “Horseless eCarriage”, the vehicle was designed to mimic the outdoor experience by driving through the park. According to a description on the NYCLASS website, the car would drive at 5 miles per hour in the park and up to 30 miles per hour in the city streets.

In particular, transport advocates have criticized the plan to allow vehicles into Central Park, where cars have been banned on the roads – with the exception of crosswalks – since 2018.

But details of a bill have not yet been shared, and the mayor’s office did not elaborate when asked. “This is something the mayor has always wanted to do, and we are working with the council and stakeholders to see if we can find a solution,” said Danielle Filson, the mayor’s press secretary.

What do they say in the horse-drawn carriage industry?

Those who represent and work in the horse-drawn carriage industry insist that the horses, which are to have five weeks’ holiday and regular veterinary exams, are well looked after by the drivers.

“We are the ones who actually love horses because we decide to spend our working lives with them,” said Christine Hansen, who has been driving a carriage in New York City for nine years.

New York City has 68 licensed horse-drawn carriages with 150 drivers, according to Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents the drivers. The union did not have an estimate of the revenue from the industry.

Hansen said drivers have no interest in driving electric cars. “The park was designed to be seen from the back of a wagon,” she added.

Meanwhile, the union has accused de Blasio, who has reportedly considered running for governor, of political motives. Two of NYCLASS’s founders are wealthy individuals who have previously given to the mayor: Wendy Neu, a philanthropist who runs his family-built recycling business, and Steve Nislick, a former real estate agent.

“This is a pathetic, shameful and all too familiar transactional maneuver by Mayor de Blasio to get even more campaign money from his campaign supporters,” said Tony Utano, president of TWU Local 100. “This has always been about campaign money, and everyone knows it. “

The subject has now found itself intertwined with de Blasio’s potential candidacy for governor. In an appearance on Spectrum News NY1’s “Inside City Hall” program on Monday, de Blasio said he is open to the idea of ​​a nationwide ban on horse-drawn carriages.

“Many big cities around the world have just said that this is anachronistic, we get rid of horse-drawn carriages,” de Blasio told host Errol Louis. “I do not think they have a place in New York City or New York State.”

Will the plan last?

It is unclear how much support a bill to ban horse-drawn carriages will get in the city council. The New York Post recently cited unnamed sources as saying there was “no appetite” for taking on such legislation.

Queens City Councilman Robert Holden, a moderate Democrat and frequent critic of the mayor, is said to be working on a bill, according to The Post.

Attempts to reach Holden on Tuesday were in vain.

Asked if his last-minute push would work, the mayor replied, “It’s the end of the election period for all of us. Sometimes it’s possible to get some things done.”

Where does the elected mayor Eric Adams stand in the case?

Evan Thies, a spokesman for the elected mayor, said Adams does not support the ban but “is open to discussing the issue.”

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