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NY Legislators Step Up Efforts to Ban Manhattan Horse & Buggy Rides

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Horse-Drawn Carriages

Two New York State legislators are again calling for an end to horse-drawn carriage rides after a recent serious accident between a hansom cab and a taxi. The crash, which occurred near Manhattan’s Central Park just before midnight on Monday, injured three tourists from Ohio and the driver of the horse-drawn carriage.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) are urging New York City to do away with what they call an “outdated entertainment practice.” They introduced a bill last month to do that, and there was a rally at that time in Central Park where dozens came out to support the effort.

At that time, according to CBS New York,

Rosenthal said she feels sick inside when she sees the horses and carriages on the side on the road. ‘The horses have to work in the heat, in the winter,’ she said. ‘I was looking at them today, their feed was filled with pigeons.’
Rosenthal said it is not a tourist attraction because tourists will come to New York City even if there are no carriage rides.

“This City, and others like it, can no longer justify these serious and real-life risks to preserve a fairytale entertainment industry,” Avella said in a statement. “It is time we put this industry out to pasture and ban it entirely.”

As Daily News writer Kerry Wills reports about Monday’s accident,

‘A lady was thrown out of the carriage, all the way to the sidewalk,’ said Gyamfi Frempong, a night manager at The Helmsley Park Lane Hotel.

‘The carriage was on top of the horse,’ said Krystal Bua, 25, who was working at nearby Whiskey Park.

Witnesses told police the taxi driver had been in the middle lane of Central Park South when it hit the carriage. But the driver, Kotey Djanie, 42, of Newark, said he was in the far right lane and was unable to stop in time when the buggy pulled into traffic from the parking lane.

The buggy driver, Salvatore Terranova, 70, of the Bronx, suffered a head injury and was in critical condition, but is now expected to survive, police said. The tourists were all treated for minor injuries at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and released. The horse was returned to its stable after a police veterinarian said its injuries — cuts — were minor.

A statement from the stable that operates carriages in Central Park said, ”We are regularly inspected by the Department of Health, ASPCA and the Department of Consumer Affairs year round. Our horses are the best treated horses in the country.”

The idea of banning the popular horse-and-carriage rides in Manhattan is a controversial one, as many people love them, but many others are opposed to the harsh traffic, noise, and weather conditions they expose the horses to, as the following reader comments to Alex Katz’s The Daily Politics blog post reveal.

“JohnE” writes:

Horse-drawn carriages are as much a part of New York as the Statue of Liberty. Before all the motorized traffic it was horses that kept the city running and they should remain as part of the New York scene. It is hard to imagine that Avella and Rosenthal have nothing better to do considering the state of the state and the nation. But they are, after all, a part of the infamous dysfunctional Albany legislature where more horse manure is produced in a week that one entire year of horse-drawn carriages. Soon they will be after the NYPD horses and pretty soon we will have nothing in the city but bicycles. Maybe we could move the Albany ‘legislature’ to New Jersey.

And “MarianneB” writes:

This tourist attraction needs to end, NOW, and all horses retired to true sanctuaries where they can live out their lives in peace. There is no safe way to combine horses and congested city traffic.

Image by sakeeb (Sakeeb Sabakka), used under its Creative Commons license.


2 Responses to “NY Legislators Step Up Efforts to Ban Manhattan Horse & Buggy Rides”

  • Linda says:

    I am in support of the proposed legislation to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City. While I am not a New Yorker, I have been to New York many times. Whenever I see these carriages, I wonder how long it will be before people realize it is time to put an end to horse-drawn carriage rides, especially on busy Midtown Manhattan streets. I hope this legislation becomes law soon.

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