Thursday, January 30, 2014



are the carriage drivers using subtle ethnic slurs and  
stereotypes  to gain support?  

The carriage drivers lie  ... a lot.  They make things up as they go along to fit the circumstances.  They stay up late at night thinking of new whoppers.  I wrote a blog about this called Lies and Desperation - the NYC Carriage Trade.  

But the BIG LIE that has been spread unchallenged in the media is this:  The real reason there is a campaign to shut down the horse-drawn carriage trade is because a certain real estate developer wants the stable land.   The media has been very sloppy in not doing their own research, taking these accusations as gospel and running with them.   They like this story and seem only too happy to perpetuate this fairy tale.  

Accident Sept. 25, 2013

This  real estate myth is not true and is a diversion made up by the carriage drivers to build sympathy for their cause so people would not look into their shoddy abusive business. 

Everyone loves to hate real estate developers – right?  They are greedy, perceived to have too much money; put up buildings that are too big,  and ruin neighborhoods.  They are the perfect villains.  And many also happen to be Jewish.  

Some of the language being used by the carriage drivers and their cronies is Code for discriminatory Anti-Semitic slurs.  They get to express their intolerant views about Jews without being accused of antisemitism.   And they get commiseration from the gullible public.   

 I am shocked that the media has allowed this disgrace to continue and that more Jews have not recognized this for exactly what it is and stood up to be counted.  Every fair-minded and socially conscious person should condemn these actions.   But I get it that people often do not like to acknowledge that prejudice and discrimination exist.  

What better fairy tale to create than to blame the campaign for a ban of horse-drawn carriages on a wealthy real estate developer … a bad guy.  A Goliath compared to a David – the “poor working-class drivers.”  The fact that he happens to be Jewish is just icing on the cake for them.  And the fact that many of them are hardly poor working-class is beside their point. 

As if  … our interest in shutting down this inhumane and unsafe trade could ever have anything  
to do with the fact that we are tired of all the horse spooking accidents, horse deaths, inhumane

living and working conditions; drivers constantly flouting the law in a business that has little actual oversight; horses going to auction and then on to slaughter in Canada and Mexico; horses slaving  for 9 hours a day 7 days a week and then going on 5-week furloughs only to return looking worse.  And we are tired of the City being held hostage by this tiny well-connected group of people.  What about all the others who have lost jobs over the years?    Who is crying for them?  What about all the obsolete businesses that were forced to close because they lost any real viability?

Nah – could not be that.  Must be because of this all powerful real estate developer, Steve Nislick, who apparently has Mayor deBlasio wrapped around his little finger.  But he did not donate any more to deBlasio than the legal amount allowed.  Many people did that.

These are some of the comments below that have been published for some time now in the media.  Because they were not challenged, they have gotten legs of their own. People want to believe in the bogeyman – the Goliath (Jewish) real estate developer.  But really -   why would anyone in his right mind lust after this stable property for five years – property that is not contiguous – on rather small lots.  If Nislick were interested in this area, he could have purchased other property that was available.  The owners would not have to sell it to him.  It does not make sense. 

The development of this area, which is called Hudson Yards,  has actually been going on for more than ten years.  The area extends from W. 28th St. on the south to W.43rd St. on the north and from Seventh and Eighth Avenues on the east to the Hudson River.    It  includes the land on which the stables on 37th and 38th St  are built  – but not the ones north of that.  So eventually these stable owners will be forced out of their businesses to make way for development that is good for the City as a whole.  
Stable on W. 38th St.
Stable on W. 37th St. 

Stall at the W. 38th St. stable (very small, hardly any bedding, horse has harness rubs) 

Although I believe Nislick should have spoken out much sooner, he recently did and his comments are on their web site. 
”I’ve never been interested in these properties and do not want them now. These are private stables, under private ownership by entities who can keep them or sell them as they see fit.  But I will not bid on any property if it is put up for sale, nor will anyone else in our organization. Our sole interest is in the health and safety of the horses.”

These are some excerpts from articles in the media: 

Lee Siegel in NY Magazine
And where does one put in the political landscape, the carriage industry’s accusation that the animal-rights people are using the issue to hand the Hudson Yards stables to real –estate developers (who could surely find the money to buy them honestly)?
When talking to the well-educated, often Jewish liberals who make up the animal-rights movement in New York, and to the Irish-American hard cases like Byrne-28 years driving a carriage so that he could afford to raise his daughters in Caldwell, New Jersey, and send them to Montclair Kimberly Academy – you can feel that you are I a Sidney Lumet film. 

USA Today
The drivers contend that NY Class is a cover for developers who have their eye on the property that stables take up along the City’s West Side. 

NY Daily News via Liam Neeson
“Neeson also speculated that real estate developers are pushing the ban to snatch up valuable real estate currently occupied by stables, currently located on Manhattan's far west side.”
“History teaches us that land grabs can manifest themselves in various ways. We all know the land on which these four stables sit is most valuable. Please do not become complicit in this type of practice,” Neeson wrote.”

And from that strangely right wing Front Page :
“The man behind the Anti-Horse Jihad is Steve Nislick, a real-estate tycoon with an eye on their stables, , and a hand in Bill de Blasio’s greasy pocket.”

Mike Vogel from AM-NY
“But carriage-horse owners say that what's really behind the push to get rid of the Central Park carriage horses are developers who are perhaps looking to turn the stable properties into condos. According to Crain's New York, Steve Nislick, developer and founder of anti-carriage-horse group New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, is a big de Blasio contributor.

Emily Hager – NY Times
Besides the animal rights campaigners, the industry is facing a classic New York peril: rising real estate values. Developers covet the stables on the Far West Side where the horses have long been kept.

Gothamist – comments by driver
 … got a group of people who are being fed nonsense. The guy who's funding all this is a real estate guy. His name is [Steve Nislick, co-founder an president of NYCLASS]. He's interested in buying the land. The stables are located right by the Javits Center and they want to put hotels up in there. petition to the City Council
please do not bow to the new mayor's pressure and ban the beloved iconic New York City Central Park horse carriages. Our mayor has said his first priority is to pay back his campaign's billionaire real estate donor Steve Nilsick (the man behind NYCLASS & their well-funded push for the ban) with the valuable Westside stables properties. This is completely unacceptable & a great disappointment. All oversight agencies have no evidence of abuse. These are union jobs that would be destroyed and these horses would be sent to slaughter. They are some of the most well-cared for horses in the world & the only chance for many nyc children get to see these special creatures so please stop the mayor from taking them away.

The drivers are always looking to divert people’s attention away from the inhumane and unsafe conditions in the carriage business to something else -- be it police horses, horse racing, dressage -- but none of these hoped for diversions took hold.   With their contrived Irish brogues, they were quick to say that we are anti-Irish.  Wrong again.    We not only work with two Irish animal rights groups in Dublin, but we also have Irish Immigrants and Irish-American activists working in our campaign – along with people representing a diverse group of ethnic, racial, secular and religious backgrounds.  I am first generation Irish on my mother’s side – more Irish than many of the drivers.  So that charge simply did not work.  Besides the “greedy real estate developer” story was much better. 

So I hope you get the picture.  This is not so surprising when one considers what happened in July 2012 when a driver went off on a group of demonstrators Then it was much more blatant.  He was heard making anti-gay, anti-black and anti-women comments, which were taped.   

We are not on the same page as NY Class.  We  - Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages - are a grass roots animal advocacy organization that started the ban campaign in 2006.  We have contributed much substance to this campaign in the way of research, reports and articles.  We do not support the electric cars as an alternative industry because they are too risky, expensive and do not exist.  The logistics behind setting them up in a phase out is so badly conceived that they are not only guaranteed to fail, they would guarantee that there will be no ban.

I have always said that a ban of the horse-drawn carriage trade should not be dependent on the success of an untried and risky business such as this.    This is not what any of us heard when we voted for Mayor deBlasio who clearly said it would happen soon.   We hope he keeps his promise and does not get caught up in this electric car nonsense.

The business needs to be shut down with no strings attached.

If jobs are an important issue to this campaign then the best thing is the retrofitted horse-carriage – sans horse.  It is a fraction of the cost of the electric cars and is available.  And the changeover could happen in a short period of time.  The work to convert the carriages  could be done local. 

Please everyone – let’s have some honesty with this issue.  Stop taking the word of the drivers as gospel.  It does not reflect well on any reporter who puts their name to these stories.  
The mayoral administration must be strong enough to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!   They need to say that this  business will be shut down and the drivers either take this job offer – retrofitted  carriages – or find something else ... that we will no longer be manipulated by this entitled business that has gotten perks for years.  

These are two links to the Hudson Yards project.  It is huge project; it is the future and it is happening - and the horse carriage ban has nothing to do with it.   


Tuesday, January 28, 2014


NYC carriage horse "parked" over steam vent on 1/27/14 - photo by Mary Culpepper

These are excerpts from  two recent pieces - one an interview by Nicole M. Arcielo of the Times Union in which she gave me an opportunity to get the truth out.  The other was a blog on Vegan Publisher blog.  There is a link to both sites where you can read the entire articles.

an interview by the Times Union

I was interviewed by Nicole M. Arcielo of the Times Union -Working to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. This is an excerpt:

A driver was charged with animal cruelty recently. Has this ever happened before? Will it help pave the way for the ban? 
This is the first time someone was caught. It was an NYPD officer who made the arrest and it is probably because they took over enforcing the cruelty laws on January 1st. The officer was probably more sensitive to the suffering. It is odd that only the NY Times reported on this cruelty arrest.

While on paper it looks like the trade is heavily regulated by many City agencies, these regulations are mostly not enforced. The ASPCA officers - fewer than 20 - handled the whole state. They would have had to assign one officer to each driver to keep up with them and that was never going to happen. But I wonder why no one else noticed this lame horse for four days - not the stable manager, not the owner and not the many drivers who work out of Clinton Stable. That is shameful and just confirms to me that they don't care and see these horses as objects, as money makers. I also wonder about the stall in which Blondie lived. A very common cause of thrush, which was the cause of the lameness, is filthy urine soaked straw bedding.nose to carriage (2) Here are videos of violations activists have amassed. Even though these have been turned over to the Department of Health and Consumer Affairs, nothing is generally done about any of this. Perhaps it was because Agency Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor (Bloomberg in this case) and did not want to rock the boat since Bloomberg supported the industry. The ASPCA also never responded to these videos.

by Elizabeth Forel - guest blogger on Vegan Publisher

Ban of the Horse-Drawn Carriage Trade in New York -- by Elizabeth Forel - guest blogger on Vegan Publishers. This is an excerpt: 

WHY THE BUSINESS NEEDS TO BE SHUT DOWN: These slow moving, flimsy conveyances do not belong in the heavy congested streets of NYC, which is always an accident waiting to happen. Horses are prey animals and are predictably unpredictable - they spook easily and can bolt into traffic causing mayhem. These sensitive animals become unwitting weapons who can kill or injure themselves or passersby. Human deaths have happened in other countries and if this business is allowed to continue, it is only a matter of time before someone is killed here.

The horses work nine hours a day, seven days a week between the shafts of their carriages where they do not have the freedom to scratch an itch - something everyone takes for granted. During the holiday season when the drivers are busy, the horses are worked to exhaustion - never resting. At other times of the year, when there is little business, they wait at the hack line bored, stomping their hooves until they get yelled at. The more fortunate ones just fall asleep. But they all have that disinterested faraway look as they stand dispirited while their drivers ignore them, often shooting the breeze with their cronies.

They live in multi-level drab and dark stables in upper floor stalls that are less than half the size of what experts recommend. They are accessed by a steep ramp. The horses have no turn out to pasture - no place to graze and socialize with the other horses. The stables have one means of egress and if there were a fire, the horses living on upper floors would not be able to get out. It is a tragedy waiting to happen.


Sunday, January 19, 2014


on the NYC Carriage Horse issue

New York State Senator Tony Avella held a public forum on animal issues on Friday January 17th in New York City  The room was packed and many people provided testimony on a variety of issues - carriage horses, shelter system, foie gras, devocalization, circuses, wildlife, geese slaughter, humane law enforcement.  Connections were made and business cards exchanged.  Senator Avella promised to follow through on several issues.   This is my testimony with additional notes subsequently added:

The horse drawn carriage trade has been the subject of controversy for many years – long before we began our campaign in 2006.  It has always enjoyed the unconditional support of
Animal Protection Forum 1/17/14
past Administrations [1]and although regulated by several agencies, it pretty much operated in a laizzez-faire way – most of the regulations were not enforced.  So we are very pleased that Mayor deBlasio has said he will end the business.  But we are very concerned with the how and when.

These slow-moving dangerous and flimsy conveyances do not belong in the heavily congested streets of NYC in 2014.  Horses are prey animals and are predictably unpredictable – they spook easily and can bolt into traffic causing mayhem.  These sensitive animals become unwitting weapons who can kill or injure themselves or passersby.  Human deaths have happened in other cities[2] and if this business is allowed to continue, it is only a matter of time before someone is killed here.  NYC has so far dodged the bullet.  But this luck will run out if nothing is done.

Since 2006, we have documentation for 34 accidents but we are convinced that many more have occurred.  The law does not require that drivers report an accident; does not require the ASPCA to reveal them to the public; and does not require the NYPD to even make a report at the scene of an accident.  There is no transparency in this business and it is very intentional.

But the public is not stupid.  Since 2006, every online poll taken has revealed that between 75 and 80 percent of respondents want a ban of horse-drawn carriages.  More than 130,000 people have signed our petition in support of the Avella/Rosenthal bill to ban horse-drawn carriages.  These polls were taken in a more neutral environment generally after one of the many carriage accidents happened.  The recent one time only Quinnipiac poll that shows a majority of people being opposed to a ban is the result of several months worth of manipulated pro carriage trade reporting by the media.  it is the result of yellow journalism.    

In the last few weeks, the media has reported on this issue with much misinformation.  They have excluded from the dialog advocates for a ban  and created their own stories favoring the
NYC accident; horse spooked and fell; carriage toppled on him
drivers.  One example is PIX 11 TV in NYC.  Recently  I was invited to be interviewed at their studio supposedly with someone representing the carriage trade.  I was then told they could not get anyone and had to cancel the show.  The next day I saw that they had not canceled the show, but instead had given an exclusive interview to a driver in Clinton park Stable.  She lied her way through the very long piece, unchallenged by the reporter who did not counter  anything she said and obviously did not know the issue.   I contacted them for equal time but was ignored.  

Yellow journalism is alive and well in NYC.  The truth has not gotten out.  It is curious why the media has taken this tact – whether they are in fact still trying to derail Mayor deBlasio as they did before the election; or if they are so afraid of the “animal rights agenda” that they simply cannot allow us to have this victory even at the expense of the long suffering horses.  There may be a lot of truth to this because Governor Cuomo recently signed a bill into law that allows municipalities to make their own laws regarding puppy mills and pet stores.  This is seen as a huge victory for those who care about animals. 

The media has presented the carriage driver as a poor downtrodden, blue collar working class immigrant whose business is being taken away by people who know nothing at all about horses and simply want their stable property. [3] It is the classic David and Goliath story and some people will believe it simply because it is in the media. 

The media also continues to talk about the so-called alternative vintage electric cars.  They do not know or care that the cars have been promised for five years, do not exist and that it is a risky and cost prohibitive investment.  No one in the media does fact checking or even challenges any of this information. 

Nose to tailpipe existence 
Industries become irrelevant and obsolete and it is time to shut this one down.  The best job alternative for the drivers is to have their existing carriages retrofitted with motors.  The cost would be about $15,000 – a fraction of what the electric cars would cost.  This has been done in other cities and can be seen on the web site –  One of the NYC carriage owners already has one.  The medallion system could stay intact and everyone could keep their job.  The City could pay for the retrofitting in exchange for the horses who can be placed through the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, which has done research proving that there are homes available for all the horses.

A word about the carriage horse slaughter scare, which originated with the drivers, promoted by the NY Daily News and exacerbated by Mayor Bloomberg – a scare tactic done to persuade people not to support a ban.  If any of the horses go to the slaughter auctions, make no mistake – it will be the drivers who bring them there.  They do not walk there on their own.  In the spring of 2013, I released a study, which revealed a turnover of 529 horses over 7 ½ years in the NYC carriage trade, averaging 71 horses a year.  Surely some of those horses went onto the auctions and then to Canada for to be slaughtered.  This will be the first time that horses will be guaranteed homes.  This will be the first time that accountability and responsibility for horse lives is required.  

The City Council should forget about Intro 86a, the electric car bill,  because it will not result in a ban and it’s muddying the waters.  The money does not exist to create this new industry  - approximately $12,000,000  - and a three year phase out would be fool hearty and guarantee that there will be no ban.  We do not support this and I am sure this is not what anyone heard when Mayor deBlasio called for a ban.  Intro 92, the unconditional ban bill is the one to reintroduce.

We ask Mayor deBlasio to do what it takes to shut this trade down soon.  We offer our expertise to work with him to make this happen.

[1] In 1989 when Local Law 89 was passed, which would have allowed the drivers to only work in Central Park, then Speaker Peter Vallone added a sunset clause to the bill before it went to the Mayor to be signed into law.  The sunset clause caused the bill to expire in 1993.  

In the early 2000s a representative from Vallone’s office (he was still speaker) called the ASPCA and demanded that they not run several full-page ads in the NY Times that were anti-carriage horse trade.  Larry Hawk, who was president at the time, refused to be bullied and the ads ran.  The ASPCA was never able to find anyone to sponsor their strong regulatory bill. 

Mr. Vallone has a  relative named Giovanni Rosario Vallone who owns and operates  a NYC carriage horse medallion and lives in Sicily. 

Linda Gibbs, Deputy Mayor of  Health and Human Services under Michael Bloomberg,  is married to Thomas McMahon, who has been a long time lobbyist for the carriage trade.  Ms. Gibbs also oversaw the Department of Health, which in turn oversaw many of the carriage horse regulations.

Christine Quinn was strongly supported in her quest to become Speaker of the City Council by the late Thomas Manton who had been a City Council Member, Congressman,  and at that time  head of the Queens Democratic party.  Manton was a staunch supporter of the carriage trade and had been referred to as Quinn’s “god father.”   

[2] In 2010, a French tourist was killed in Salsburg, Austria when a spooked carriage horse ran up on the street and trampled her.    

[3] This accusation has finally been debunked.  Steve Nislick, president of NYClass and a real estate developer , has answered the charges made by the carriage trade and the media that he wants the stable property.  He not only said it is not true but that if the  property were  ever to come onto the market, he pledges that he will not bid on it.  He further goes on to say that neither will anyone from his company or organization.

Sunday, January 5, 2014



NYC:  Media sacrifices carriage horses' welfare for human’s selfish enjoyment and made up sob stories about carriage drivers,  and  non-questioning acceptance of non-existent "electric cars."  

What is wrong with the media?  

A lot … especially with this recent outrageous display of yellow journalism editorializing about the carriage horse trade.    By media, I mean television, radio, newspapers and Internet.  Yet it is often the only way we can get a story out.  We continue to hope for fair play and the truth, which we rarely get.    

38th St. stable 
INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM:  There is no such thing anymore as investigative journalism.  Reporters mostly set up a story and manipulate the interviews for the desired result. Fact checking?  A thing of the past.  The current story idea du jour  is  in response to Mayor deBlasio saying that he will ban horse-drawn carriages – and apparently not backing down.   He has listened to the public for years, admitted his own thinking on the issue had evolved and now says  “We are going to get rid of the horse carriages, period”  and  "We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City," deBlasio said, according to NBC New York.  “They are not humane. … It’s over.”  

The  carriage trade was not going to take that lying down.  Not on your life.  And the media wanted to give them a platform – ignoring the reasons why many of us want to see this inhumane and abusive trade go into the dust bins of history; as if all the cries and rational arguments that we have made for years had no value.  What kind of collusion was there between the carriage drivers and the media?  Did money or favors change hands?  We may never know.

BIASED MANIPULATED REPORTING:  In the last few weeks, the media has put out very biased untruthful reports about the NYC carriage trade – lamenting the drivers losing their jobs; exaggerating the number of horses and  drivers and fabricating the amount of money the drivers bring into the city – when the truth is that it is a cash only business and no one knows how much it is – but you can bet their tax returns are for much less than they actually take in. 

Why bother with the truth when it is so easy to make things up particularly when no one is challenging you.   

Saying the horses would go to slaughter; talking about the excellent conditions in which the
white washed horse-drawn carriage license plate
horses are kept – allowing the drivers to tell lies without questioning their pronouncements  – mostly because the reporters are not armed with facts and they do not care.    They simply do not know enough about the issue.  This is a link to Lies and Desperation - the NYC Carriage Trade.  

Of course, reporters and so-called journalists were no where to be found when I released the study of NYC carriage horses falling off the Department of Health registry this past spring.  Where do all the NYC Carriage Horses Go?  revealed a turnover of 529 horses over 7 ½ years  - averaging 71 horses a year.   There is nothing in the law that protects these horses from going to auction and then on to slaughter.   People are worried about what will happen to the horses when there is a ban -- but if the media had done its job in the spring, they would have seen that it has been a big worry all along.  

The City bends over backwards to allow the carriage drivers to work here – giving them an opportunity to ply their trade with many tourists; very low insurance rates compared to pedicabs; entitlements such as subsidized stables; virtually non existent law enforcement.
   The drivers like to point to the extensive laws on the books and how they are monitored by several City agencies.   Don’t believe it.   It is on paper only.  And now with the ASPCA giving up humane law enforcement as of January 1st, it is a lawless free for all.    Please do not buy this “well regulated” rhetoric  hype.
52nd St. stable
STABLES:  The carriage trade likes to say that anyone can visit their spectacular stables.  But the NY Times recently reported that a driver was charged with animal cruelty on December 20th – his horse was found to have thrush and he had been working him lame for several days.    To have a NY Times reporter breaking the story was a shock to all of us since the Times is another newspaper that supports the carriage trade.  But unfortunately, this seems to be an anomaly.   

The horse, Blondie, is reported to have made his home at  Clinton Stables on W. 52nd St.  One common cause of thrush is filthy stall conditions  - urine soaked straw bedding.  Why has the media mostly  ignored this story?  If not caught in time, this horse could have been permanently  crippled.   Is anyone now doing inspections of these stables?  The horse owner and manager of the stable are equally responsible for the condition of this horse and the conditions of their stable if a filthy stall contributed to and caused the Thrush condition.  But who is paying attention?  This may well be the tip of the ice burg.  

I have said this so many times.  These stables are dreadful.  The stalls, although meeting code, are less than half the size of what experts recommend.  They are on upper floors, accessed  by a steep ramp and if there were ever a fire, with one means of egress, the horses would probably die.  In addition, there is no turnout to pasture.  Horses need daily turnout, which they do not get.  The media liked to promote the 5- week furloughs the horses are now required to get by law  – as a “vacation”  – giving you the image of horses frolicking and grazing in a lush pasture, well fed and happy.  But vacations are a human concept – horses need daily turnout to pasture.  For 47 weeks out of the year, horses work every day for 9 hours and come back to spend it in a 60 square foot stall.   That is clearly inhumane.  

The law does not require inspections of these facilities.  In 2011, a former ASPCA equine vet

38th St. stable
was quoted in the NY Post – " Dr. Corey, the director of equine veterinary services of the ASPCA's humane law-enforcement department, said, "We have observed some horses returning to New York City after furloughs on a farm in worse condition than when they left."  

This was never investigated.  Subsequently, we have heard that depending on the farm, many of the horses are not fed well and look quite thin when they return. 

NY DAILY NEWS:  what can you say about a tabloid that recently printed an op-ed by a priest, rabbi and Muslim student in favor of the carriage trade?  How obviously manipulative. 

This is the same newspaper that flooded the media with false reports of the carriage horses going to slaughter if there was a ban.    Although Vickery Eckoff disputed this with real facts in her Forbes' article , NYC's Mayor Bloomberg Does not Know Manure about Carriage Horses, the Daily News deceitful  message got out and grew legs of its own.  
This tabloid also tried desperately to derail deBlasio's mayoral campaign since they supported Christine Quinn.

September 26, 2013 - carriage horse falls with carriage on top of him
The carriage drivers expected to manipulate the public with these fear tactics not realizing that it would come back to them.  If the horses do go to auction / slaughter – it will be the individual owners who bring them – owners who did not care enough for their horses to find a real home.

IRISH CENTRAL pulled the same nonsense with this quote:  "Many are incredulous at the thought of their means  of supporting themselves and their families could be done away with so cavalierly."  

And, of course, they interviewed only tourists who like the carriages.  But many tourists oppose them and would never take a ride.  We have often spoken with tourists who hate the idea of walking on Central Park South because they do not want to see the horses.  

JOBS:  the Carriage drivers want to continue with their horses and are not willing to compromise - at least not yet.  Will they get involved in an expensive law suit that they are guaranteed to lose?  Is that position realistic?  Many people have lost their jobs in NYC ranging from corporations to government workers to those who were displaced because of neighborhood redevelopment and gentrification.  Where was the upset for them?  

NON-EXISTENT ANTIQUE REPLICA ELECTRIC CARS -   The media has been giving lots of attention to the "electric cars"  as something to replace the carriages.  The only problem here
carriage driver parks horse over steaming man-hole cover
is that they do not exist.  But those doing the interviewing are not troubled by this fact and have not challenged it.  This  further begs the question "what is going on in journalism schools around the country?"  The cars have been promised for five years.  Because I believe this is one of the biggest scams to be perpetrated on the animal rights community in years, I will list the problems:

 - they do not exist and have been promised for five years; only a model exists
 - would be very costly - about $175,000 per car
 - the proposed bill requires them to be phased in over a three year period at a cost of about $4,000,000 per year or $12,000,000 over all.  This means it would take at least three years to shut down the carriage trade.
 -  There would be 68 of these cars on the street in midtown!
 - cars are not allowed on Central Park roads.  It is hard to imagine the appeal of paying a hefty fee to ride in these electric cars and get stuck in the traffic of  Central Park South, 5th and 6th Avenue.  It would be cheaper to ride in a yellow taxi.  
 - it is a very risky investment, which is why, I believe, the money has not been raised to build these cars.  People with money to invest in projects have that money because they are smart investors.
 - If someone really wanted to start such a business, they might put a few on the street and see if the public had any interest - but 23 the first year against 45 carriages; and 23 additional the second year against 22 carriages, ending it the third year with the balance of 22 cars  - is an absurdity and a guarantee of investment money lost
 - With this proposed phase out - what happens if after the first year, the 23 cars are not popular.  No one wants to invest another $4,000,000 for an additional 23 cars. This means the horse carriages will continue.  There will be no ban.  
 - So for those three years, the cars would be in competition with the carriages, which might win because people would feel sorry for the drivers and believe the unsympathetic greedy real estate industry was behind the electric car vanity business.  

THE ONLY GOOD JOB ALTERNATIVE is to retrofit the existing horse carriages so they are horseless.  These already exist outside of NYC.  If the owners agreed to do this, their independent medallion business model could remain intact - converting the 68 carriages to true horseless carriages.  The cost is about $15-$20,000 per carriage.  Someone local could do the work - but this is how it would look.  

Nose to tailpipe - how is this "romantic?" 
The owners would have to agree to this, of course, but it is a much, much better situation for them than the non-existent electric cars -- and the animosity between the "real estate" developer and the owners would not exist.  A reasonable solution would be for the City to pay for the retrofitting in exchange for the horses, which the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, mentioned in Eckoff's article would place.

This is a very real and viable solution to jobs but unfortunately the Mayor's office has not responded to this suggestion.

We are very concerned with what Mayor deBlasio is saying because we hear it as a contradiction.    He talks about shutting down the trade almost  immediately "quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape"  - but then he mentions these so-called alternative electric cars, which do not exist.  

Those of us who supported and voted for Mayor deBlasio -  and that includes running ads in Metro and volunteering for his campaign - did so because he said he would ban the carriage trade.   We do not care about electric cars and believe if a ban of the inhumane and unsafe horse-carriage business is dependent on the success of an electric car business, a ban will not happen.

We want this business to be shut down in six months.  We think that is both doable and fair.