NYC horse carriages will have fewer horses to pull them under a new plan announced Sunday, a compromise that falls short of Mayor Bill de Blasio's original campaign promise to ban them altogether.
A deal struck between de Blasio and the union representing the carriage drivers would reduce the licensed horses from 180 to 95 and move them to a refurbished $20 million stable in Central Park, The Wall Street Journal reported
. The animals would also no longer be allowed on the streets.
"We are pleased to have reached an agreement in concept on the future of New York's horse carriage industry," said a joint statement from de Blasio, New York City
council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16 George Miranda, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 553 Demos Demopoulos, and Teamster carriage driver Stephen Malone.
"We look forward to working together on the final details of this legislation and getting this passed," the statement continued.
De Blasio expanded on the statement Monday, acknowledging that the details of the deal will still have to be worked out with the city council.
"For a long time, I've talked about the fact that we need to get horses off our streets," de Blasio told reporters, according to a government transcript
. "Horses do not belong on the streets of the biggest city in the country in the middle of midtown traffic. It's not fair and humane to the horses. It's not fair to drivers — it creates congestion."
"Look, it's not everything I wanted, I think I've been quite clear about that, but that's why we have a democratic process, and obviously an executive branch and a legislative branch. We work very closely with the council, very cooperatively with the council," the mayor continued.
Tupper Thomas, executive director of the advocacy group New Yorkers for Parks, told The Wall Street Journal that the deal was "tragically not a great solution."
"Our biggest concern is who's paying and what is the taxpayer going to get from this," Thomas said.
The deal would also ban pedicabs below 85th Street, according to The Journal, in a move angering the group, which called the provision "out of left field."
"This just completely destroys what pedicabs do in Central Park," pedicab driver Richard Costella told the newspaper. "I don't know what else to say."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.