Instead of doing away with the carriage industry entirely, which Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to do on “day one” of his administration, the city had reached a compromise with drivers, unions, and animal advocates that would have reduced the number of licensed horses from around 180 to 110 by Dec. 1, 2016. Animal rights organizations also said the animals shouldn’t be walking the noisy city streets, clogged with traffic. The deal would have provided a new barn for the horses in Central Park, so they wouldn’t have to leave.
That deal went kaput Thursday when the Teamsters union pulled its support, reports the Associated Press. The City Council was supposed to have voted on the measure on Friday.
“With the legislation now finalized, our members are not confident that it provides a viable future for their industry,” said George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16.
De Blasio happened to arrive at City Hall today while a group of horse carriage drivers were rallying outside, the AP reports, and eventually addressed reporters.
“Obviously we are disappointed that the vote won’t happen tomorrow, but we are going to find a way forward,” said de Blasio, reportedly criticizing the union for backing out of the deal.
NYC pulls reins on plan for Central Park horse carriages [Associated Press]