"We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period."
December 30, 2013 10:05 AM   Subscribe

When Bill de Blasio takes the oath of office on Wednesday to become New York City's mayor, one of the first things on his agenda will be the fight to ban horse drawn carriages in Central Park.

Mr. de Blasio's campaign was funded in part by a PAC called “New York City Is Not For Sale,” which spent more than $200,000 attempting to defeat Christine Quinn's bid for mayor.

de Blasio previously on Metafilter, and more
posted by roomthreeseventeen (166 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm legitimately amazed reading all this. I spent the first 25 years of my life in the NYC area, have family that still works there, and until now had thought I was following the Mayor's race somewhat closely, and I had literally no idea this was, like, a thing.

On a first glimpse I don't even think I have a side here; I'm just confused. The NYPD uses horses too. I didn't realize that "horses aren't meant to be in a city" was actually an issue; I had assumed that like other domesticaed animals, them being able to operate in a city was, well, why they were there.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:19 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


one of the first things on his agenda will be the fight to ban horse drawn carriages in Central Park.

Good.
posted by pracowity at 10:20 AM on December 30, 2013 [15 favorites]


Is there some sort of ulterior motive at work here? Are people worried about the safety of seeing eye dogs working the streets of NYC? Or police horses? Are the carriage horses at a greater risk of injury than taxi drivers?
posted by Mitheral at 10:22 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm gullible, but I've always assumed that if those horses are your livelihood, you'd take good care of them (obviously there are exceptions, but they are, you know, exceptions.) I have a hard time believing that this constitutes widespread abuse of animals. What's next, pony rides at the county fair?
posted by monospace at 10:22 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are the carriage horses at a greater risk of injury than taxi drivers?

Here is the NYCLASS page on horse-drawn carriages. Sorry, should have included with the OP.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:23 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm glad there aren't any more pressing "problems" in NYC.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:25 AM on December 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


The NYCLASS page has some good points, but weighed alongside other issues plaguing the city and animal welfare, it seems absurd. It seems more of an issue of "we don't like this, we don't like seeing it, we don't like how it makes us feel" than anything else.
posted by melissam at 10:26 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm glad there aren't any more pressing "problems" in NYC.

I was unaware that NYC had downsized to the point that the entire city administration could only do one thing at a time. Maybe de Blasio can look into hiring another person to help him run the place.
posted by Etrigan at 10:27 AM on December 30, 2013 [88 favorites]


I'm glad there aren't any more pressing "problems" in NYC.

Oddly enough, in our representative bureaucratic democracy, the mayor doesn't do all the work by hand himself. Different departments can do different things at the same time.
posted by kokaku at 10:28 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Etrigan beat me to it
posted by kokaku at 10:29 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


After a quick search I confirmed that yes, we had discussed the carriages in the last deBlasio thread. Is it really such a Huge Deal? I mean, yay for NYC, but it really doesn't seem like an important issue. Is there more to this I'm missing?
posted by emjaybee at 10:30 AM on December 30, 2013


The NYCLASS page has some good points, but weighed alongside other issues plaguing the city and animal welfare, it seems absurd. It seems more of an issue of "we don't like this, we don't like seeing it, we don't like how it makes us feel" than anything else.

Actually, reading the site now I think (if their information is factually accurate) they present a pretty strong case, not just on the animal welfare point but on the overall economic/environmental impact on the city.

Hearing about horses not even having grazing/pasture access is heartbreaking, but while it's not as emotion-stirring, "this causes more traffic congestion and repair needs, oh and also there's bacteria-spreading shit all over the place and basically this can hurt the physical and financial health of millions of New Yorkers to make a handful of tourists happy" is kind of a good point too.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:31 AM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


It is a big deal because it put the new mayor and animal protection groups up against teamsters and taxi drivers and people who hate for anything to ever change.
posted by pracowity at 10:34 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I was unaware that NYC had downsized to the point that the entire city administration could only do one thing at a time. Maybe de Blasio can look into hiring another person to help him run the place.

This isn't in the top 20 problems facing New York City - I'm not even sure it's in the top 100. It's an obvious "feel good" issue which a practical person would not be dealing with - particularly since he already got elected and doesn't have another election for almost four years.

Also, snark is NOT contributory to the conversation here. Can you please dial this down in future?

de Blasio hasn't even been inaugurated yet and he's already been a massive disappointment. Appointing Giuliani's old police boss is simply a slap in the face to the "left" - as is appointing an ex-Goldman person as Deputy Mayor.

I wouldn't say that I'm a huge fan of the current police commissioner, Ray Kelly, but he's competent, a data-driven police chief. Bratton is just a thug.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:36 AM on December 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


de Blasio hasn't even been inaugurated yet and he's already been a massive disappointment.

man at least wait for them to put the goalposts up
posted by griphus at 10:38 AM on December 30, 2013 [61 favorites]


I was unaware that NYC had downsized to the point that the entire city administration could only do one thing at a time. Maybe de Blasio can look into hiring another person to help him run the place.

So the city administration has infinite resources then?
posted by entropicamericana at 10:39 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


This isn't in the top 20 problems facing New York City

According to who, though? I'm a runner who runs in Central Park six times a week. The horse-drawn carriages are absolutely one of the top five problems I have with NYC.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


Is there some sort of ulterior motive at work here?

"Coverage of the debate over the past several years has frequently cited speculation that [NYCLASS co-founder, Edison Properties CEO Steve] Nislick is interested in acquiring land on Manhattan’s West Side, a charge he has repeatedly denied. That is horse-stable territory and also includes the Hudson Yards development."
posted by cribcage at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I agree that this doesn't strike me as a particularly high on the priority list for New York, but after reading the NYTimes article, I'm a little more sympathetic, because yeah, being shitty to horses is really shitty.

That said, I don't know why they can't just continue with the middle ground and regulate the industry with animal cruelty laws like they've been doing? A total ban seems a little baby with the bathwater to me. But you know, NYC's answer to trivial-ish problems is often to go this route, with mixed success.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's an obvious "feel good" issue which a practical person would not be dealing with - particularly since he already got elected and doesn't have another election for almost four years.

Perhaps it's a thing that de Blasio (and a lot of other people) see as an issue of morality and compassion rather than an issue of practicality and electioneering.

I was unaware that NYC had downsized to the point that the entire city administration could only do one thing at a time. Maybe de Blasio can look into hiring another person to help him run the place.

So the city administration has infinite resources then?


Infinite? No. But you intimated that anyone thinks this is the most pressing problem facing New York City. That's just silly.
posted by Etrigan at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "Here is the NYCLASS page on horse-drawn carriages."

That page is awfully axe grindy. For example the assumption that horse slaughter in Canada is inhumane (or the implied wrong of horses being slaughtered in the first place). The link gives an accident per medallion rate of ~1:7 or about half of the taxi accident rate of ~1:3.8.

Is rutting of paved surfaces really a problem? Anyone know of any images of the problem.
posted by Mitheral at 10:44 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The mayor elect has committed to determine how to phase out horse drawn carriages and replace them with antique vehicles. I'm not sure that this has the same priority and meaning as the original post suggests. The framing of the OP in suggesting this will be one if his first acts seems suggests a priority for this that is not inline with the mayor elects statements. The op also suggests that there will be a outright ban, which is a much more direct and specific policy than the mayor has committed to.
posted by humanfont at 10:45 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy: "This isn't in the top 20 problems facing New York City - I'm not even sure it's in the top 100."
entropicamericana: " So the city administration has infinite resources then?"

From the Politico article:

It’s unclear how aggressively de Blasio will pursue the carriage ban once he takes office in the new year.

and

De Blasio aides declined to provide details about the mayor-elect’s work on the issue during the transition, saying only that he is committed to following through on the ban.

In other words, despite the framing of this post and the presence of a couple of click-grabbing news stories, there's no indication that this is in any particular position in de Blasio's list of priorities, just that it's on the list.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:45 AM on December 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


I live at the edge of the tourist area of town (not NYC). We have a number of horse carriage operators here, and they are a pain in the ass. It's fairly hard to get in and out of our ward, and the damn, plodding things tie up traffic. Sometimes there will be 3 carriages in a row blocking traffic. It's crazy.

On top of that, about a half a block from here is a spot where the horses wait to cross on the light. The corner, from May until the end of September, reeks of rancid horse piss. There's a big creamy, yellow stain on the pavement where they relieve themselves.

It stinks, and it's quite easy to understand why, until the invention of the automobile, horses were the number one public health threat in New York City.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:47 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


This isn't in the top 20 problems facing New York City - I'm not even sure it's in the top 100. It's an obvious "feel good" issue which a practical person would not be dealing with - particularly since he already got elected and doesn't have another election for almost four years.

I don't even understand why this is being argued. The election already proved its importance regardless of how important it is or isn't to you personally. It was clearly important enough to a large enough constiuency to assist him in winning the primary that it's now an issue he has to follow up on. Doing what his constituency wants is literally the Mayor's, you know, job.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:48 AM on December 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Infinite? No. But you intimated that anyone thinks this is the most pressing problem facing New York City. That's just silly.

Well, the OP said it is one of the first things the mayor is doing, so I assume the mayor-elect considers it fairly pressing.

He's replacing them with antique vehicles? Wow, wildly polluting vehicles built to incredibly out-of-date safety standards sound like a brilliant replacement.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:48 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The op also suggests that there will be a outright ban, which is a much more direct and specific policy than the mayor has committed to.

Um, no?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:48 AM on December 30, 2013


Can you please dial this down in future?
de Blasio hasn't even been inaugurated yet and he's already been a massive disappointment


I need to recalibrate my level meter.
posted by yerfatma at 10:49 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


> That said, I don't know why they can't just continue with the middle ground and regulate the industry with animal cruelty laws like they've been doing?

Bingo. I'm a serious bleeding heart animal lover, but there has to be a compromise...

> I'm a runner who runs in Central Park six times a week.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this - but honestly, you are living in an area which requires an income in the top 1% of America and the top 0.01% of the world, and I'm more sympathetic to the drivers whose jobs will be destroyed, in the current "permanent unemployed underclass" economy.

My sympathies are with e.g. the guy who's crashing in my living room right now because he can't find a place to live; or with the people in the Rockaways whose lives were devastated by Sandy and still haven't gotten things fixed up.

If de Blasio wanted to help a lot of people, finally finishing the Sandy cleanup would be far more effective than anything else I can think of. At least it would show that he had some interest in helping the 99% and wasn't entirely focused on the 1%...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:51 AM on December 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


[roomthreeseventeen, if you didn't post this largely as an excuse to be able to argue about it, please make that clearer by backing off from the thread.]
posted by cortex at 10:51 AM on December 30, 2013


(Sorry, backing off now!)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:54 AM on December 30, 2013


I'm a serious bleeding heart animal lover, but there has to be a compromise

Yeah, someone mentioned the NYC Mounted Units earlier in the thread. Allowing them to continue to operate, but not the horse drawn carriages is kind of a double standard.
posted by FJT at 10:54 AM on December 30, 2013


> > Can you please dial this down in future?
> de Blasio hasn't even been inaugurated yet and he's already been a massive disappointment

> I need to recalibrate my level meter.

I'm sorry, I didn't think I needed to explain further, but I guess I have to.

A statement like, "I was unaware that NYC had downsized to the point that the entire city administration could only do one thing at a time. Maybe de Blasio can look into hiring another person to help him run the place." is snark. The writer is saying something that he or she does not in fact believe, in order to be sarcastic and clever - in other words, snark.

You might disagree with my statement, "de Blasio hasn't even been inaugurated yet and he's already been a massive disappointment", but it is in fact a genuine statement of what I feel - what in fact almost everyone I know feels. You might not like what I say - it is not "snark".

Hope this was clear to you.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:54 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is really about right wing media trying to find some position they can use to limit the new mayor's popularity beyond New York City. Make him a horse hating nanny state liberal.
posted by humanfont at 10:58 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


It wasn't a huge campaign issue because it simply wasn't divisive. Joe Lhota had also promised to ban the horses.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:58 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hearing about horses not even having grazing/pasture access is heartbreaking, but while it's not as emotion-stirring, "this causes more traffic congestion and repair needs, oh and also there's bacteria-spreading shit all over the place and basically this can hurt the physical and financial health of millions of New Yorkers to make a handful of tourists happy" is kind of a good point too.


But there are a lot of things that cause this to an even greater degree. That's why there was a battle for congestion pricing, which had it gone into place, would have had a massive impact on the health of humans and other animals in the city. But it inconvenienced the wrong people.

And of course there are loads of other thing in NY that are bacteria-spreading, smelly, dirty, etc. But the fact this is about a ban rather than greater regulation shows it's not really about that.
posted by melissam at 11:00 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


So... Those horses will all be dead in a couple of weeks, right?
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on December 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm sorry you have to deal with this - but honestly, you are living in an area which requires an income in the top 1% of America and the top 0.01% of the world, and I'm more sympathetic to the drivers whose jobs will be destroyed, in the current "permanent unemployed underclass" economy.

This is coming off as incredibly White-Knight-y and condescending. We have no idea what the poster's financial status is, not that it's relevant in any way regardless, and they mentioned living in NYC solely to answer the question as to why this issue is personally important to them. If you're laying the suggestion that finding this issue important means you don't find poverty or wage disparity important, because multitasking is clearly impossible in the human psyche, then you're hurting for a pointless internet argument.

As far as the Romney-esque "killing jobs" conceit goes (and for the record, we are talking about 68 medallions to drive carriages in the city. 68) if the issue of the carriages is that it tortures animals, costs the city money and makes people less healthy, then, well, it sucked when 12 year olds lost their jobs in coal mines too. Sheesh.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:00 AM on December 30, 2013 [18 favorites]


This could be a boon to the oxen industry.
posted by popcassady at 11:01 AM on December 30, 2013 [14 favorites]


> Doing what his constituency wants is literally the Mayor's, you know, job.

There's no evidence that this is what his "constituency" wants to happen. On his campaign website, this is nineteenth in his list - and even that is divided into three parts, the other two of which are uncontroversial.

Again, to make it clear, I do think that reforming the Central Park carriages is important. I do not think that simply destroying it is a good solution; but more, there are more critical issues to deal with.

If de Blasio were interested in a fair solution, surely he should be finding out what people in the city really want to have happen - by asking them. I'll bet you that most of them would say, "I want the horses to be treated humanely, but I don't want the whole business to be destroyed." Perhaps I'm wrong, but without hard data there's no way to know.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:01 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The transition to DeBlasio is going to be fascinating. It's been so long since NYC has had a mayoral transition at all, and Bloomberg is a totally bizarre act to follow. Even though it wasn't really new information, this article from today was about how Bloomberg basically governed by throwing money at everyone and everything was a bit mindblowing.
posted by yarrow at 11:02 AM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Horse people I know tell me that there is a very stark difference between how healthy and happy police horses look and how healthy and happy the carriage horses look. I am not sure that it's possible to reform the carriage horse industry to a level where the horses are being well-treated, but where the operators are still earning the profit they want. No, it's not the most important issue, but I am 100% in favor of the ban.
posted by matcha action at 11:04 AM on December 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


It's going to be fascinating to watch de Blasio's mayoralty. I know many people were energized by him--I can't say I was, but it was the worst mayoral slate I think I've ever seen in NYC. Quinn always seemed terrible, and while some say the electoral rejection of her candidacy was a referendum on Bloomberg, I think it's just as likely a statement about how fundamentally unlikable she was. De Blasio is clearly the anti-Bloomberg, but, again, it was such a terrible slate that I don't know how much to make of that.

This is pretty low hanging fruit, as far as quality of life goes, probably right above getting rid of those creepers in the Elmo suits in Times Square, but just below the bros who spread their legs really wide on the subway.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:04 AM on December 30, 2013


1. I'm not sure why anyone outside of NYC cares*
2. Within NYC there is no more unifying sentiment than "fucking tourists"

*please also refer to (2.)
posted by danny the boy at 11:12 AM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


When we talked about taxi medallions there was a lot of argument that the city couldn't make them worthless without reimbursing the holders. Anyone know what a carriage medallion is worth?
posted by Mitheral at 11:12 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


//Hearing about horses not even having grazing/pasture access is heartbreaking...//

The vast majority of horses in America are limited on grazing / pasture access. It takes about 2 acres to support one horse if you are supplementing feed with hay. You could need 5 acres if you want a horse to live well on pasture alone. And since horses are herd animals you need more than one. That said, horses are grazing animals and its absolutely necessary to their mental well being that they have some grazing time as often as possible. My daughter's horse was stall bound for 3 days last week while an injury healed, and he was quite clear about how he felt about the confinement.

I'm not in NY and I don't know how much of the info regarding the living conditions of the horses is hyperbole vs fact. But regulating the industry to require some set amount of pasturing weekly and other quality of life issues should not much of a logistical challenge for the government if they want to keep the industry alive and insure proper treatment of the horses.
posted by COD at 11:18 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you are against the ban, ask yourself if you've ever seen Horse-Drawn carriages here at Metafilter, and if the site would be better off with horses wandering around.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:19 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Within NYC there is no more unifying sentiment than "fucking tourists""

Ya, they are only spending ~35 billion-55 billion annually in your city, why not treat that revenue stream with contempt.
posted by Mitheral at 11:20 AM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


...if the site would be better off with horses wandering around.

Hobby or regular?
posted by griphus at 11:20 AM on December 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


The solution is to breed (slightly) larger rats to pull the carriages.
posted by planetesimal at 11:21 AM on December 30, 2013 [17 favorites]


"Within NYC there is no more unifying sentiment than "fucking tourists""
Ya, they are only spending ~35 billion-55 billion annually in your city, why not treat that revenue stream with contempt.
Getting treated with contempt is part of what they come for, after all.
posted by Flunkie at 11:22 AM on December 30, 2013 [24 favorites]


Ya, they are only spending ~35 billion-55 billion annually in your city, why not treat that revenue stream with contempt.

See the "fuck all tech workers!" thing in SF/Oakland.
posted by Artw at 11:23 AM on December 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm talking teams of dozens of rats, controlled by Arduino boards paired with the driver's phone, mind you.
posted by planetesimal at 11:23 AM on December 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


2016 - PETA backed president euthanizes all cats.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


One wonders *how efficiently* $35 billion is being spent. Hot dog stands and tacky t-shirts do not exactly have a huge economic multiplier effect.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:25 AM on December 30, 2013


At least one needs to be pulled by a rat king.
posted by elizardbits at 11:25 AM on December 30, 2013 [14 favorites]


The writer is saying something that he or she does not in fact believe, in order to be sarcastic and clever - in other words, snark.

Somebody tell Jonathan Swift that A Modest Proposal is NOT contributory to the conversation and that he needs to dial it down in future.
posted by Etrigan at 11:26 AM on December 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


Bingo. I'm a serious bleeding heart animal lover, but there has to be a compromise...

No, actually, there doesn't have to be. There's been animal protection laws for the horses for some time, but they still die in the streets. There's a huge difference between a police horse and a carriage horse, even beyond the fact that the police horse isn't dragging a carriage and a bunch of humans around all day: the police using the horses aren't profiting from the horses, so they have no motivation to abuse them or cut corners to extract more money from the operation.
posted by tavella at 11:28 AM on December 30, 2013 [24 favorites]


Sometimes the exception proves the rule.
posted by cribcage at 11:28 AM on December 30, 2013


If de Blasio were interested in a fair solution, surely he should be finding out what people in the city really want to have happen - by asking them. I'll bet you that most of them would say, "I want the horses to be treated humanely, but I don't want the whole business to be destroyed." Perhaps I'm wrong, but without hard data there's no way to know.

Are you saying that deBlasio is not interested in a fair solution and has not listened to the voters who recently elected him by an overwhelming majority?
posted by humanfont at 11:28 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


> At least one needs to be pulled by a rat king.

The driver can now be the rat king, thanks to the aforementioned tech bits. This is a new era for the city, after all.
posted by planetesimal at 11:29 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the tourists will be okay. The proposed horseless replacement carriages look pretty sweet.
posted by Mchelly at 11:29 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously? The plan is to replace horse drawn carriages with loud, dirty exhaust belching antique AUTOMOBILES?

Okay then.
posted by monospace at 11:32 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


If horses don't belong in the city, then why do old livery stables constitute half the buildings in NYC?
posted by 3.2.3 at 11:33 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


(Oh nevermind. Electric replicas of antique automobiles.)

Okay then.
posted by monospace at 11:34 AM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


If horses don't belong in the city, then why do old livery stables constitute half the buildings in NYC

Horses don't belong in the MODERN city. Does that clear it up for you or do you have any further straw stables to present.
posted by elizardbits at 11:34 AM on December 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


but honestly, you are living in an area which requires an income in the top 1% of America

The median household income across New York City stands at $50,711, according to 2010-2012 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to that map, the annual median household incomes (2010-2012) for the districts that border Central Park are, from highest to lowest: $101,417; $93,258; $84,421; $39,804; $36,112; $31,079.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:35 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm glad there aren't any more pressing "problems" in NYC.

Sure there are. Those problems tend to be systemic and very difficult to solve. This one is solved with one easy regulation.

I live in NYC. They're not a huge quality of life issue for me, because I never got that far north, but morally, I support the ban. I've seen these horses. I don't know how anyone could ride them in good conscience.
posted by snickerdoodle at 11:38 AM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Maybe I'm gullible, but I've always assumed that if those horses are your livelihood, you'd take good care of them

Horses are pretty cheap and veterinary care isn't. It probably makes more economic sense to just work them to death while providing no more than minimum care required by law and just get a new one when it "breaks," at least so long as you don't actually give a shit about the animals. See also Amish draft animals.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:41 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Can we get rid of the pedicabs as well?
posted by crank at 11:41 AM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


there's bacteria-spreading shit all over the place and basically this can hurt the physical and financial health of millions of New Yorkers

"Bacteria" is not a bad thing in and of itself- you would not be alive if it weren't for bacteria.

I grew up with horses, which as any horse person can tell you, pretty much equals growing up in horse shit. You shovel it, you store it (until it is composted or taken away), fall in it, clean it off horses who roll in it, &c. Very few people catch diseases from intimate contact with horses, and doubtless even fewer from being in occasional proximity. While horses can carry diseases like Salmonella and Campylobacter, so can dogs, cats, pigeons, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and geese. Those animals are more likely to pass it on to humans than horses, yet people seem relatively blase about those risks.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:42 AM on December 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


If de Blasio were interested in a fair solution, surely he should be finding out what people in the city really want to have happen - by asking them.

Given the very high frequency with which you oppose things that a majority of Americans support in polls, you cannot possibly be offering this as an honest argument.

Disingenuous arguments are also NOT contributory to the conversation here. Can you please dial this down in future?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:43 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The proposed horseless replacement carriages look pretty sweet.

I was half expecting to see some sort of civilian BigDog for the horseless carriages...
posted by FJT at 11:46 AM on December 30, 2013


I think they should go back to putting fake horse heads on the front of cars - everyone wins that way.
posted by xbonesgt at 11:47 AM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm a serious bleeding heart animal lover, but there has to be a compromise...

I would be surprised if regulation that was sufficient to guarantee the welfare of the horses and internalize the negative externalities on the neighborhoods they operate in would leave an economically viable industry.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:49 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


And what of the NYC Amish who depend on horse buggies as a mode of transportation? What are they supposed to do, start using non kosher technology? Will this be a lost religious freedom?
posted by Colonel Panic at 11:53 AM on December 30, 2013


They can ride the Amish subway.
posted by planetesimal at 11:54 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


After what De Blasio said about removing pedestrian plazas and blocking bike lanes, maybe the dude just loves cars. It's extremely disappointing to me.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:54 AM on December 30, 2013


"Riding the Amish subway" sounds like something one should be ashamed to bring up in mixed company.
posted by Etrigan at 11:56 AM on December 30, 2013 [35 favorites]


It's hot dogs, isn't it.
posted by fallingbadgers at 11:56 AM on December 30, 2013


After what De Blasio said about removing pedestrian plazas and blocking bike lanes

The wildly successful bike lanes and plazas that have been promoting civic engagement, street life, increasing retail revenues, and raising property values on their adjacent buildings? Sounds like you guys elected a real peach. Have fun.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:57 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks you have fun cow poking and bucking broncos on your super cool cowboy range where I imagine everyone out side ny lives.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:01 PM on December 30, 2013


I look forward to the hot dog vendors finally being honest about where they get their meat too.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:03 PM on December 30, 2013


maybe the dude just loves cars

OK, I'm calling it now: De Blasio = Rob Ford Mk.2

It'll take a while to complete the transformation (there's a lotta transformin' that'll have to happen) but when it's done it's going to be hilarious. I mean, for everyone who is sufficiently outside the blast radius. Not such a great time if you're within range.
posted by aramaic at 12:24 PM on December 30, 2013


roomthreeseventeen in the link you provided the mayor is quoted as saying:
"We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period, It’s over"

The article then notes:
De Blasio said he would work with existing drivers to set them up with alternative vehicles to ferry tourists around Central Park.

Which demonstrates exactly my point. Note how the mayor has hedged here and not set a deadline or actually committed to the specifics on how things will proceed. It could be a phase out, it could be some kind of legislation to buy out the operators over time. It could be that new horses are prohibited while existing ones are grandfathered in.
posted by humanfont at 12:27 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mitheral: "Ya, they are only spending ~35 billion-55 billion annually in your city, why not treat that revenue stream with contempt."

What you perhaps are not getting is that YES, almost everyone in new york would happily trade ~2% of their city's GDP for never having to deal with some asshole stopping as soon as they reach the top of the subway stairs.
posted by danny the boy at 12:28 PM on December 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


Forget the stairs, what about the escalators? Why would you stop in a place where a moving staircase is going to inevitably push people into your back? WHYYYY? Yet they do.
posted by Wretch729 at 12:34 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm glad there aren't any more pressing "problems" in NYC.

Sure there are. Those problems tend to be systemic and very difficult to solve. This one is solved with one easy regulation.


Exactly. One easily implemented, visible change will satisfy the majority, and never mind serious problems like kids that don't have enough to eat, the homeless, jobs, slum lords, etc. Whether or not he does a damn thing more, at the end of his term he can rest on his laurels for that one. Want my admiration? Tackle one serious problem, work for change, do the absolute best to change things for the better, and then you have a by-god useful politician.

I have no dog in the fight. I don't live in New York. It's my opinion that New York will be the poorer for losing the horses, but perhaps for the best with regard to their welfare. End of an era.

Horse shit is visible on the streets. Hungry kids, not so much.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:36 PM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Given how easy it is to get things done in this city with a single mandate from the mayor I'd imagine horses in Central Park to be swept away by vague promises in exactly the same manner as GITMO was in the first 100 days of Obamas pres-what that? Oh.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:36 PM on December 30, 2013


Want my admiration?

Why the heck would he care about someone literally from Idaho's admiration? Lol
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:39 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


A statement like, "I was unaware that NYC had downsized to the point that the entire city administration could only do one thing at a time. Maybe de Blasio can look into hiring another person to help him run the place." is snark. The writer is saying something that he or she does not in fact believe, in order to be sarcastic and clever - in other words, snark.

You might disagree with my statement, "de Blasio hasn't even been inaugurated yet and he's already been a massive disappointment", but it is in fact a genuine statement of what I feel - what in fact almost everyone I know feels. You might not like what I say - it is not "snark".

Hope this was clear to you.


It was pretty clear to me, until I realized you favorited

"I'm glad there aren't any more pressing "problems" in NYC"

and then I got all confused again. Did you think the person who posted that was actually glad?
posted by escabeche at 12:40 PM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


What matcha action said. I used to ride and know how well cared for horses smell. The NY carriage horses don't smell like they are treated properly.
posted by brujita at 12:52 PM on December 30, 2013


Count me as a New Yorker who is cheering this decision. I walk down 57th once a month or so and the animals look so miserable and beaten. They are in constant pain and you can tell from looking at them that they have a miserable life.

To me, ending the abusive Central Park horse carriage industry is a priority issue and I am very glad to hear it is happening. After dismay over the Bratton pick, this improves my view of deBlasio. Ending stop and frisk is more important, but both need to be done now. Now.
posted by spitbull at 12:56 PM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm talking teams of dozens of rats, controlled by Arduino boards paired with the driver's phone, mind you.

I'd star that repo on github.
posted by fatbird at 1:02 PM on December 30, 2013


planetesimal: "> At least one needs to be pulled by a rat king.

The driver can now be the rat king, thanks to the aforementioned tech bits. This is a new era for the city, after all.
"

Why does it have to be a rat king?

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's the mindless support of the rodent patriarchy on this site.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:03 PM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Carriage horse bans generally don't ban you from riding your PERSONAL horse into the city, if that is how you get around. Just from selling rides on/behind your horse to others. Also Amish people can, in fact, ride the subway (it's the owning cars that's the problem, not riding on someone else's motorized transit). Also Amish people mostly only bring horses into cities in the pre-dawn hours when traffic is light because carriage horses are NOT SUCH BIG FANS of traffic and in a car-carriage accident, the people in the carriage lose.

I used to shop at a 24-hour supermarket where, if you went drunk between 3 and 5 a.m. (I was in college, don't judge), you would periodically run into Amish from farms not too far from the small-city midwestern downtown who'd come in on their buggies. Usually one guy would stay outside with the horses while everyone else shopped. Also they scooped the horse poop in the parking lot as a courtesy (although not on the roads). If they wanted to shop during the daytime, they had an English (non-Amish) neighbor drive them. Because carriage horses in city traffic are a bad idea, yo.

Having shared roads with horse-drawn buggies when driving for work through Amish country in that area, it's not so great even in rural areas. The horses don't like it, the farmers don't like it, the automobile drivers don't like it, the cops don't like it. It's a necessary compromise for everyone to share the road, but it isn't very safe, and everyone knows it and is nervous about it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:13 PM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Carriage horse bans generally don't ban you from riding your PERSONAL horse into the city, if that is how you get around.

What's the policy on golden chariots drawn by lions?

Asking for a friend.
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on December 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


I live in NYC. They're not a huge quality of life issue for me, because I never got that far north, but morally, I support the ban.

Yeah, I lived in Brooklyn 'til a few months ago, so it didn't impact me on the daily, but every time I walked across Manhattan around 59th, I'd be like, "Man, it would be classy as hell if this street didn't literally reek of feces."
posted by Greg Nog at 1:28 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hate the "hassle to share the road with" argument though because pretty well all the talking points with the exception of public defecation can be applied to riders of bicycles.
posted by Mitheral at 1:31 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


de Blasio to horses: Wait for the sign, then all prisoners will be released.

To carriage-men: You will perish in flames, soon as I find the Gatekeeper!
posted by the christopher hundreds at 1:35 PM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


At the least I think we need some animatronic dinosaurs to replace the horses.
posted by Sophont at 1:37 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


escabeche, I was gonna point that out too. APPARENTLY, IT'S ONLY SNARK IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT or possibly, the answer to snark is not more snark, but that sort of earnest ignoring the snark response that somehow still seems snarky...

I agree that "bacteria" are fundamental units of life that we depend on for survival. But New York is a modern US city and festering horse shit and piss may not be as happy go lucky running down your streets and storm drains vs. any sentimental country livin' situation. Oh and animal cruelty needs to be pushed to the very margins and then choked in a bathtub.
posted by lordaych at 1:51 PM on December 30, 2013


What's the policy on golden chariots drawn by lions?

You just need a medallion from the city.

Wait, sorry, you need the Medallion of Apollo. It is granted only to his chosen Champions or anyone who has donated at or above the "Olympian Benefactor" level to the Center for Apollonian Mysteries and Education.
posted by griphus at 1:52 PM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Mitheral: "I hate the "hassle to share the road with" argument though because pretty well all the talking points with the exception of public defecation can be applied to riders of bicycles."

Except that bicyclists think like people, whereas horses think like horses. There are definitely moron bicyclists out there, I know, but as a general thing bicyclists act in fairly predictable ways, are pretty good at signaling their intent to cars, know the rules of the road, are aware of how automobiles act, etc. Horses don't know any of those things, and even well-behaved carriage horses are constantly going, "Okay, THIS car ... is THIS car a predator? Should I run? Should I bolt into traffic and tip over my driver and all his passengers? Would that be a good idea? Definitely a good idea." It was pretty common, in the Amish country near me, for carriage drivers to wave you around them and people would pass very slowly and sedately and people are really conscious of not revving the engine up too quickly because it startles the horses ... and every now and then, horses who'd been passed by hundreds and hundreds of cars would get startled by THIS car, and attempt to flee, and dump their carriage and all riders in the ditch. (For that reason, I will not pass a moving carriage on a two-lane country road, no matter HOW slow I have to drive.) Because he's a HORSE.

Police horses, incidentally, are partners upon whom officers depend for their safety and wellbeing. They are highly-trained, like seeing eye dogs, and the officers have NO impetus to take a nervous horse who's having an off day out into the city. They're selected for their calm disposition and go through 3 or 4 years of training BEFORE they go to police units and begin police-specialized training, and most horses don't start their "rookie year" as an actual police horse until they're 5 to 7 years old, and have had specific training towards that role for that entire time. Lots of horses "wash out." The officers generally have to have been on the force at least 3 years, it's a competitive assignment, and they require 400ish hours of training specific to horse policing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:54 PM on December 30, 2013 [13 favorites]


Sure there are. Those problems tend to be systemic and very difficult to solve. This one is solved with one easy regulation.

Is it too late to do something about 432 Park Avenue?
posted by IndigoJones at 1:56 PM on December 30, 2013


and then I got all confused again.

What's not clear? Snark for my side is totes cool, snark against my point of view is NOT contributory.
posted by kmz at 2:00 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see (well kept, non-abused) carriage horses come to Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. They'd be happier there and away from traffic.
posted by Soliloquy at 2:02 PM on December 30, 2013


If I absolutely had to choose, I'd rather be run over by a bicyclist than a horse.
posted by desjardins at 2:03 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have been both run over by at last count like a dozen cyclists (individually, not in a herd) and had my foot trod upon by one carrot-excited fat pony and I am not actually sure which would be preferable to experience again.
posted by elizardbits at 2:17 PM on December 30, 2013


How do you feel about being run over by a reindeer?
posted by The Whelk at 2:20 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hate the "hassle to share the road with" argument though because pretty well all the talking points with the exception of public defecation can be applied to riders of bicycles.

Nowhere near similar; horses are sweet, intelligent handsome creatures who make you want to pet their nose and feed them sugar cubes. Bicyclists, not so much.
posted by happyroach at 2:20 PM on December 30, 2013


Yeah but I usually have more fun when I get to ride a cyclist.
posted by The Whelk at 2:24 PM on December 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


One easily implemented, visible change will satisfy the majority, and never mind serious problems like kids that don't have enough to eat, the homeless, jobs, slum lords, etc.

Do you always tackle the hardest problem first? That's certainly one way to lead, but sounds awfully difficult. Dude hasn't even been sworn in yet. Let's give him a few days before we decide he's completely useless.

Also, this is NYC. If we were easily satisfied we'd still be in Ohio.
posted by snickerdoodle at 2:30 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tonight's blue plate special is beaten dead horse over beans.
posted by humanfont at 2:37 PM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The condition of their feet was always what broke my heart. I don't know how anyone who knows anything about horses could look at their feet and think those horses are getting even minimally acceptable care.
posted by winna at 2:52 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am totally against feeding those poor animals beef-a-reno.
posted by NedKoppel at 2:54 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm gonna be dropping "riding the Amish subway" in random places in conversation and see what happens.
posted by telstar at 3:06 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


You'll either score a bag of mixed meth and heroin, or you'll activate a sleeper agent. Either way, it's a wild ride.
posted by planetesimal at 3:23 PM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Proposed solution: A goodwill trade with the city of Boston. We take the horses, New York can have the duck boats.

I just really, really hate the fucking duck boats. They line up outside my grocery store, which means hordes of confused tourists who have all bought those horrible duck "whistles" for their fifty six children (each) all line up outside the grocery store and block the door, not understanding the mechanisms of "doors" or "grocery stores" or "could you please move that I might exchange money for bread and toilet paper in this here emporium."

It wouldn't solve the tourist problem, but I certainly like horses better than duck boats. (And yes, I grew up in Vermont as one of those girls obsessed with ponies. I know quite well about accompanying smells.)
posted by sonika at 4:15 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


What you perhaps are not getting is that YES, almost everyone in new york would happily trade ~2% of their city's GDP for never having to deal with some asshole stopping as soon as they reach the top of the subway stairs.

Don't come to Toronto then, where, get this, people who live here do the thing where apparently they are unaware that other people exist. People stop at stairwells in the subway and in other places. People stop at entrance to grocery stores. People cut off other people on the roads, etc.

That this is a tourist thing only in New York is wonderful. By that metric, New York is a paradise of civil behaviour.
posted by juiceCake at 4:25 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


sonika, Boston already has horse-drawn carriages.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:46 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am totally against feeding those poor animals beef-a-reno.


...but it's fit for king and queen-o!
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:06 PM on December 30, 2013


sonika, Boston already has horse-drawn carriages.

Then why in the name of sweet fuck must the duck boats persist?!

(I have indeed heard about the carriages, though I have never actually seen one. So, I guess Boston has horse drawn carriages much like it has a subway system...)
posted by sonika at 5:26 PM on December 30, 2013


Seattle also has both horses and ducks - TBH I have no idea what the horses people get out of it, going on a short trot around our miserable little downtown.
posted by Artw at 5:35 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


That this is a tourist thing only in New York is wonderful. By that metric, New York is a paradise of civil behaviour.

By that metric, I agree. My one unequivocally positive memory of my only time in NYC to date (three days just off Times Square, in the middle of February, for work five or six years back) is the way everybody acts like they actually care about getting whereever it is they're going.
posted by Lazlo Nibble at 6:07 PM on December 30, 2013


something something 100 duck-sized horses
posted by desjardins at 7:57 PM on December 30, 2013


What you perhaps are not getting is that YES, almost everyone in new york would happily trade ~2% of their city's GDP for never having to deal with some asshole stopping as soon as they reach the top of the subway stairs.

Despite what New Yorkers may think, tourists in New York are not particularly clueless compared to tourists elsewhere (and this includes New Yorkers, who are more than capable of inexplicable behavior when they're on vacation).
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:02 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've obtained an exclusive contract with the union which enables me and my partners to open a new venture in New York. Our Glue Factory represents a return of industry to New York City. The greatest artists know that there is no substitute for horse glue. My glue will be locally produced using timeless methods. It also represents a up-cycling of the equine form into a new products. We're taking pre-orders via Kickstarter for a pledge of $120/oz. I know this sounds like a lot, but do you really want to hold your scrapbook or priceless memories and genuine experiences for 2014 together with some synthetic adhesive created by some enormous chemical company? In each drop of this glue is the echo of the hoof beats that once took lovers around Central Park and the million stories of the city that never sleeps. Surely that is the only glue one can hold fast your treasured memories to the page.
posted by humanfont at 8:07 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have learned today that "duck boats" are not boats powered by harnessed ducks and that makes me sad.
posted by elizardbits at 8:39 PM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would never complain about boats pulled by teams of ducks, or even horse sized ducks (or duck sized horses) impeding my errands because THAT WOULD BE FUCKING AWESOME.
posted by sonika at 9:07 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


The boats don't even appear to be shaped like ducks, the betrayal is unending.
posted by elizardbits at 9:12 PM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


But are they shaped like witches? How else can they float?
posted by maudlin at 9:38 PM on December 30, 2013


The duck boats should not be confused with the swan boats - which do have the decency to be shaped like swans.
posted by sonika at 9:40 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am a semi tourist, that is in NYC enough times a year that I probably paid enough taxes to vote but seriously I thought the new mayor was going to ban private cars....that would keep his taxi friends happy and make more room for the carriages so the owners could make more money and treat the horsies better....PS NYC is not a "mean" city to tourists by a long shot...go to Paris if you want to be treated like crap.
posted by OhSusannah at 2:27 AM on December 31, 2013


I'm in Paris RIGHT NOW and no one's treated me like crap
posted by The Whelk at 3:19 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


New York did have an amphibious duck boat until 2010, but it wasn't shaped much like a duck.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:00 AM on December 31, 2013


The boats don't even appear to be shaped like ducks, the betrayal is unending.

They are shaped exactly like DUKWs.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:01 AM on December 31, 2013


They are shaped exactly like DUKWs.

You are being zero fun. And on New Year's Eve! Sheesh.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:52 AM on December 31, 2013


[Metadiscussion has been taken out behind the barn and shot. Please assume people actually care about the things they say they care about, and if you find your priorities differently aligned feel free to find a different thread.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:40 AM on December 31, 2013


Sad really. Would you want to be the one standing behind a horse in the unemployment line?

But what is really sad, is that since these working horses will no longer be of any use they will all most likely be sent to be slaughtered or hopefully humanely euthanized.
posted by Gungho at 7:16 AM on December 31, 2013


Nowhere near similar; horses are sweet, intelligent handsome creatures who make you want to pet their nose and feed them sugar cubes. Bicyclists, not so much.

i dunno, my guy has a bike and he has a cute nose

also he rides a horse

I would never complain about boats pulled by teams of ducks, or even horse sized ducks (or duck sized horses) impeding my errands because THAT WOULD BE FUCKING AWESOME.

here have a house hippo
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:28 AM on December 31, 2013


To the people wondering what happens to the horses after a ban, it has been considered by those advocating for a ban. I have no idea how effective their plans would actually be in practice but it's not as if they're oblivious to the problem:
Many rescues and individuals have contacted us saying that when the ban happens, they would like to take in some NYC carriage horses. NY Class and the ASPCA also have a list. Because no one knows when a ban will happen, out of respect for their privacy -- and because we do not "telegraph our punches" we will not publish this list. Source.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:18 AM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, um, they're glue. Focus on the nonexistence of future horses as the upside for animals.
posted by Artw at 8:44 AM on December 31, 2013


Artw, I don't know why you keep saying that. de Blasio and the people working with him have all confirmed that the horses will be rehomed, and not killed.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:19 AM on December 31, 2013


Because per Wretch729 the plans are vague as hell and it's the likely outcome for a large amount of surplus animals.
posted by Artw at 9:25 AM on December 31, 2013


Because per Wretch729 the plans are vague as hell and it's the likely outcome for a large amount of surplus animals.

Given what looks like a fair amount of attention being paid to this, along with what Wretch79 said about lots of people offering to rehome them, I'd be surprised if 'glue factory' was the immediate destination for most of these horses.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:28 AM on December 31, 2013


I am a semi tourist...

I misread this as "sex tourist"
posted by humanfont at 9:37 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


New York has pretty good rescue networks. I don't doubt that if the owners cooperated that most or all would be found homes. I suspect that some of them might prefer to kill the horses, either because they'd get some marginal amount more money selling them abroad for meat or for revenge, because it's not a profession for people that genuinely care about and because people can be assholes like that.

But even if they were put down, there's a lot of future horses that won't be tormented by being poorly treated, cared for only to the minimum degree necessary to avoid being arrested, and driven through traffic that they are ill-suited for.
posted by tavella at 9:58 AM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Because per Wretch729 the plans are vague as hell and it's the likely outcome for a large amount of surplus animals.

The "large surplus of animals" is 200 horses. That's a significant number but we are not talking the evacuation of Saigon here. If there are already groups and monied individuals offering to assist in this, that's better news for the horses than you usually hear about the surplus of kittens and puppies at your local shelter.

Also, I'm not sure why the resignation about the horses going to slaughter is invoked as a negative on the carriage ban. Withouot the ban, the horses are still going to be slaughtered- they're just going to be worked to near-death first. If the ultimate result in either outcome is that the horses are going to die after they can't be used for carriages anymore, then the outcome not involving another horse entering that life cycle still seems like the better one.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:34 AM on December 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


See above.
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on December 31, 2013


Pretty late to the thread. I work next door to the stables for many of these horses, on the water near midtown. It's not a pleasant place...a couple stories of concrete, ramps to get to and fro. I'd love to see these horses find new homes someplace where they don't know concrete and harassment by cars 24 hours a day. This city has many problems, but as an animal lover, I don't see any reason to object to a few hours of the mayor's time and many hours of some committee time being dedicated to getting rid of the carts.

As far as a ton of wealthy, entitled rich folks being worried about the smell of horse piss, I'm sure we can "Occupy Horse Street," no? I wouldn't want them to feel like they weren't home!
posted by nevercalm at 12:20 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


But even if they were put down, there's a lot of future horses that won't be tormented by being poorly treated, cared for only to the minimum degree necessary to avoid being arrested, and driven through traffic that they are ill-suited for.
posted by tavella 3 ½ hours ago [+]


in other words we have to destroy the village in order to save the village.

These horses are valuable property. The owners will for the most part not just hand them over to some rescue group. They will be
1. Sold off to other vendors in cities that have yet to ban horse drawn carriages.
2. Sold to become work horses in other industries
3. Sold for meat
4. Sold to circuses , (see 3. above)
posted by Gungho at 1:34 PM on December 31, 2013


They would be purchased by people who would be happy to offer retirement comfort for horses.
posted by pracowity at 1:13 PM on January 1


More accurately: You hope they would be purchased by people who would be happy to offer retirement comfort for horses.

I hope so, too, but by and large horse owners fall into two major groups: incredibly wealthy people who keep horses as part of their social standing and sports interests (both of which these horses are useless for), and horse-loving people with limited cash... and horses are not cheap, even if they're free.

What will actually happen remains to be seen.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:27 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


It's not impossible to believe that the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages already has a plan and can make arrangements to get the horses to homes, given that they have said that they already have this plan and can make these arrangements, as linked and quoted above. If you want to call them liars, that's one thing, but let's not pretend that no one has thought about that and therefore the worst will happen.
posted by Etrigan at 10:50 AM on January 2


I'm not pretending anything, although I'd say some are pretending that the horses' futures are already sealed and happy. Nor am I calling anyone a liar; I'm stating that there's a LOT of money that has to move around before this happy ending occurs, and none of that is contractual, so it's still a matter of hoping it all goes as planned.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:39 PM on January 2


The problem with this "initiative" is it's another feel good initiative that doesn't seem to actually care about the stated reasons.

I'm hearing complaints about carriage ruts in the road. Have you met NYC? City of a million potholes? I would have an extremely difficult time finding carriage ruts because of all the damn potholes in the actual road, caused often by things much heavier than horse-drawn carriages.

Public health because horses urinate and defecate in the street? We have actual human beings urinating and defecating in the streets, which is much more of a public safety concern.

Traffic in midtown? Hahahahah. Traffic in midtown is caused by a lot of things, but carriage horses, not the major one.

This is about the adorable horses that no one wants to be sad. If horses looked like giant lizards, no one would be raising the slightest complaint.
posted by corb at 12:47 PM on January 2


WRONG, we would complain that they were not fighting giant robots.
posted by elizardbits at 1:24 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


This is about the adorable horses that no one wants to be sad.

Way to casually and contemptuously dismiss the concerns that animals are being abused for no good reason.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:30 PM on January 2 [8 favorites]


I am fully behind any movement that does long-term good for horses - or, indeed, giant lizards - and causes short-term - or, indeed, any - annoyance to New Yorkers.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:26 PM on January 2


Don't come to Toronto then, where, get this, people who live here do the thing where apparently they are unaware that other people exist. People stop at stairwells in the subway and in other places. People stop at entrance to grocery stores. People cut off other people on the roads, etc.

My solution to this problem is either snapping my fingers loudly when I determine that I am stuck behind a dimwit, or clapping my hands at their head level. I don't bother saying "excuse me" any more, because that's me being apologetic, when they're the ones who suck.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:31 PM on January 2


Regardless of what happens to the current batch of horses (which are going to be retired and probably slaughter one day no matter what), this change would prevent their potential replacements ad infinitum from going through the same shit.
posted by pracowity at 2:42 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Guys, I'll just eat the horses. Problem solved.
posted by planetesimal at 3:09 PM on January 2


I don't bother saying "excuse me" any more, because that's me being apologetic, when they're the ones who suck.

You should yell HONK HONK and then just plow into them. It is very satisfying.
posted by elizardbits at 5:15 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


> clapping my hands at their head level

I would question your sanity if I saw you do this, and I'm the second-fastest walker I know.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:19 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


So I heard this the other day... Seems some people are just dieing to get their hands on the land under the stables. Adjacent to the Javits Center, they want to build an hotel.

The above referenced article also quotes a driver or handler stating that this is what horses do. If you take their jobs away they will become depressed. Having dealt with horses that become almost neurotic when they have nothing to do but stand in their stable, I would tend to agree.
posted by Gungho at 7:41 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


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