This Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said “Horses in the streets of the city today don’t make sense.” I completely agree with Mayor de Blasio on this statement but I do not agree that we should completely end the horse drawn carriage industry. Mr. Mayor, here are some suggestions on how to save the industry and protect our city’s streets.
As a Queens resident who often drives into Manhattan, every time I cross over the Queensboro Bridge I get anxiety driving near The Plaza Hotel and Columbus Circle. I am always afraid I am going to hit a horse and cause an accident. Often times the horses are a few inches from the cars and this is extremely dangerous. The problem is that the horses line up on 59th Street and Central Park South right smack in the heart of the city. Perhaps if the horses lined up on Central Park West along the park the horses would be safer and away from oncoming traffic. You can go even one step further and create a dedicated lane along Central Park West just for the horses.
My next solution is to restrict the horses just to Central Park and or any other park in the New York City that has a stable in it for the horses to rest. A city park seems like a better place for horses anyway than our city streets. Going back for a second to my earlier idea of a lane for the horses along Central Park West, this would only be to line up. Once a passenger boards a horse-drawn carriage they would enter the park.
Another solution would be to create some sort of city department that ensures that the horses are treated humanely and cared for properly. This department should be given the power to enforce when the horses are not being properly cared for.
These solutions would keep 350 people in their jobs and would save the horses which have been a part of our great city and its mystique for hundreds of years.