LIN 1: On 59th Street in Manhattan, a string of 15 horse carriages line the busy sidewalks next to ongoing traffic. They are just outside Central Park, waiting for tourists. But starting next week, drivers will only be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers inside the park. Edita Birnkrant (Bern-crant) is the executive director of NYCLASS, an animal rights organization that lobbied for the passage of this rule. She says that moving horses inside the park is safer for the animals and better for traffic.
Anyone who stands on 59th Street today can see the congestion caused by these horses as they maneuver through traffic and the cruelty to these horses would totally agree that this is the very least we could do. It’s totally outrageous that these drivers don’t have compassion for these horses they earn a buck off of. (0:18)
LIN 2: The rule was originally proposed by Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Transportation in August. Carriage drivers filed a suit against the DOT. The case was dismissed by a judge this Wednesday. Now, the rule goes into effect. Anthony Caterra has been a driver in Central Park for the past 20 years. He says he can’t afford to keep his horse if loses anymore customers.
If you don’t get any rides, how are you going to feed the horse? How are you supposed to maintain the horse? The horse is going to starve. The driver is going to starve. If you have no income. (0:14)
LIN 3: Christina Hansen is also a driver in Central Park. She says drivers should have been consulted by the Department of Transportation in the rule-making process.
We’re being treated as if we’re not even humans and that’s not how the city should operate. This is not a de facto ban on the industry just a slow and painful death. (0:11)
LIN 5: The Department of Transportation needs a few more days to install signage and do minor construction around the 5th Avenue entrance to the park. Carriages are expected to move into the park in 10 days. For Columbia Radio News, Shannon Lin.