Saturday, January 3, 2009

Carriage Ban?

I'm surprised this is coming to City Council - the industry is based in Council Speaker Christine Quinn's district, and I've always heard they're tight. Still there's a big push to ban them now from the animal rights people. The main sponsor, Tony Avella, represents Northeast Queens, which is about as far from a tourist area as you can get (although the main sponsor of the industry bill, James Gennaro, represents a similar district right next to Avella's).

Riding the horse drawn carriage is really one of those things I've never understood. 34 bucks for half an hour to do what exactly? See Central Park, just in a slower, smellier way than walking?

My bet is that a full ban doesn't go through, but the city starts genuinely cracking down on infractions next season. The carriages aren't supposed to leave the park, and the horses aren't allowed to work in bad weather (extreme heat, cold, storms and dangerous street conditions), but these - like many traffic laws in New York - are sometimes taken more as a loose suggestion than a law. You can generally find the carriages in Midtown before 9:00 PM (when they're allowed), and out in all sorts of weather - especially if it's December, the biggest tourist month of the year.

The public hearing is set for January 29th - any bills affecting the tourist industry usually get brought up in the winter to avoid disruption and changes during the season.


  1. One would think that, before going to all the trouble to post about a topic, that one would actually familiarize oneself with said topic.

    Apparently not.

    First of all, there is no "big push" to ban us - there is Avella and a hard-core group of about 100 humaniacs who are pushing this; with lies, propaganda, and ridiculous histrionics, they have conned more into supporting them, but hardly anything that would qualify as a "big push".

    Tony Avella is a lowlife hack looking to latch onto high-profile issues for media face-time and keep his core constituents (lunatic humaniacs and misguided LoHV members)fired up to work on his mayoral campaign.

    Avella is a mushmouth would-be tyrant, and intellectually challenged to boot (he has been referring to the horse drawn carriages as "horse driven carriages" for 2 years now - note to Tony: horses don't drive @@)

    Worst of all, Tony Avella is a stone-cold LIAR (see the Sept post of my blog listed below)

    As far as not being allowed to leave the park, you're wrong again. We are allowed south of 59th Street after 9pm and all day Sunday, according to the law that was passed in 1993. Look it up.

    Carriages can operate from 18 degrees F to 89 degrees F. You will NEVER find a carriage out there outisde these temps - I will personally Paypal you $100 if you can prove otherwise. Summer '08 we were sent in 18 days due to temps over 89. Snow & rain, street conditions are more nebulous; the law states that it is up to the discretion of the commissioner and/or delegated authorities on a case-by case basis. The video you link to in your post of Dec 19 is a perfect case in point - carriages left the stable between 9:30 & 10am, when there was no precip, and were all back in the stable by 12:30 when conditions started to become worse.

    I don't mind discussing or reading opinions of our industry, if they are based on facts. There is enough hysteria from the humaniacs without people adding to it by passing on wrong information.

    (and I'm sorry you don't "get" what is so special about a carriage ride - I cannot tell you the number of people in 27 years who have told me it was the best thing they did in NYC)

    Here's my blog

  2. ...and btw:
    Not only are we always sent in when the temp goes above 89, but the ASPCA sends us waaay before that on some days.

    How could they? Why would they?

    Hmmm...there is intrigue here - take a look at the Aug 7 post on my blog, if you're interested.

  3. A major media campaign and a bill in City Council is indeed a "big push" - the biggest one there's been. Avella is the main guy pushing it, but is not the only co-sponsor - there's 6 so far, which is 2 more than the industry bill has. Whatever you think of the guy, you don't further your cause with the personal attacks on him.

    The temperature and condition rules I agree are followed almost perfectly. The riding south of 59th street (which shouldn't be allowed at all) before 9:00PM are not. And, quite honestly, neither is the pricing, but that's another topic for another day.

    I don't get a lot of stuff Tourists like to do - but that is what this blogs about after all.

  4. when the chick from 3rd rock from the sun lies naked on a horse in protest ads I would call that a fair 'push' by more than a few lunatics.

    Regardless of your blather about the exact temperatures, and times, and silly name calling, can you really claim that this is a good and happy life for the horse?

    I recognize that there are MANY animal injustices that are generally accepted by the public these days, and I feel that they should all be tackled whenever possible-not just the business of horse drawn carriages.

    Lastly, about the tourists-I'm sure that if Mr. Big ordered you to carry him and carey bradshaw on your back through the park you would have just as many tourists telling you 'that piggyback ride was the best thing I've ever done in new york!'.

    Trust me, the appeal is not the horse. I'm certain you could convince visitors to new york to do something else silly and turn it into a lucrative business.

    I will definitely take the time to read your blog as I'm sure there are a lot of details of the business I'm not aware of. thanks

  5. Personal attacks and name calling (like "humaniacs") will NEVER help your case. I have read things in your blog and comments you have posted on other blogs (like my friend's) and although I may partially be one of those "humaniacs", I am also a person capable of listening to ration comments and opinions.

    I personally don't get what is such a great "tradition" about riding a carriage pulled by a horse, but that's just me. My biggest issue is when they go out into the busy avenues.

    By reading a lot of about the industry, I have personally changed some opinions about how I initially felt, but I feel that there are still a lot of things that need tighter regulations.