CARRIAGE HORSE HEARING

In just a few days a hearing could change the way Central Park’s carriage horses handle passengers and traffic.

Aired on October 1, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS BILLY.

DRIVER CHRISTINA HANSON FEARS THE DAYS ARE NUMBERED FOR HER INDUSTRY IN NEW YORK CITY.

BIG CHANGES ARE COMING TO CENTRAL PARK SOUTH WISHGS IS THE PICKUP AND DROPOFF PLACE FOR THECARRIAGES.

CARRIAGE DRIVERS SAY IF MOVED, IT WILL KILL THEIR CHANCE FOR WALK-UP RIDES.

THE MAYOR SAYS THE HORSES NEED TO BE INSIDE THE PARK.

ANYONE KNOWS THERE'S A PROBLEM ON CENTRAL PARK SOUTH.

HORSES IN TRAFFIC IS A BAD IDEA.

I SAID THAT IN 2013.

I WOULD LIKE TO REPEAT NIT 201.

IT'S A BAD IDEA.

CENTRAL PARK SOUTH RIGHT NOW, YOU SEE IT ALL THE TIME.

THE HORSES IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO TRAFFIC.

IT IS A LOCATION THAT WE BELIEVE COULD BE USED MUCH MORE EFFECTIVELY IN TERMS OF MASS TRANSIT, IN TERMS OF OUR VISION ZERO INITIATIVES AND HELPING PEOPLE IN A VERY BUSY AREA.

AS MENTIONED, THE CURRENT PICKUP AND DROPOFF ARE AT CENTRAL PARK SOUTH.

THE CITY WANTS TO GET RID OF THAT AND HAVE FIVE SEPARATE PICKUP AND DROPOFFS INSIDE THE PARK.

THE FIRST ONE, PRETTY CLOSE TO WHERE THE PICKUP ALREADY IS.

THE MOVE WILL PUT IT IN THE CENTRAL LANE AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE PARK NEAR THE PLAZA.

NEXT, THE EAST 72nd ENTRANCE ON THE NORTH CURB, A HALF MILE AWAY FROM THE OLD LOCATION.

THEN YOU HAVE THE WEST 72nd ENTRANCE AT CENTRAL PARK WEST.

THAT ONE IS A LITTLE FURTHER OUT AND ABOUT A MILE AWAY FROM THE OLD PICKUP.

THEN THE 67 ROUND ABOUT.

THAT'S JUST UNDER A MILE AWAY FROM 5th AVENUE AND CENTRAL PARK SOUTH.

AND THEN THE 7th AVENUE ENTRANCE.

THIS IS PART OF THE MAYOR VISION ZERO PLAN, A CORNER STONE OF HIS ADMINISTRATION TO ATTACK SAFETY ISSUES.

WE BELIEVE WE HAVE A MUCH BETTER WAY TO USE CENTRAL PARK SOUTH, WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY PROVIDING THE CARRIAGES WITH VERY GOOD STAGING AREAS, WHERE THE CUSTOMERS CAN GET TO THEM.

THEY'LL BE RUNNING THE SAME ROUTES THEY'VE EVER RUN.

THIS IS A SMARTER WAY TO GO ABOUT IT.

THIS ISN'T THE FIRST TIME THE MAYOR HAS TRIED TO PULL IN THE REINS.

BANNING HORSES ALL TOGETHER WAS A MAJOR FLAT -- PLATFORM IN 2013.

HIS INITIATIVES FAILED IN CITY COUNCIL.

CHRISTINA HANSON HAS BEEN DRIVING HORSE CARRIAGES FOR YEARS.

I TALKED TO HER NEAR 11th AVENUE.

I ASKED HER WHAT SHE THOUGHT ABOUT THE CITY'S PLANS TO MOVE THE HORSES INSIDE CENTRAL PARK?

MY INITIAL RESPONSE WAS, OBVIOUSLY THEY WANT TO BAN US A DIFFERENT WAY.

OUR BILL BOARD IS 59th STREET.

THAT'S HOW PEOPLE KNOW WHERE WE ARE.

THEY WANT TO PUT US OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND, OUT OF BUSINESS.

IT'S LIKE THEY DON'T EVEN WANT PEOPLE PETTING OR ENJOYING OUR HORSES OR FEEDING THEM CARROTS, BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT PLACES WHERE THERE'S A SIDEWALK FOR PEOPLE TO SAFETY COME UP AND INTERACT WITH THE HORSES AND ASK ABOUT RIDES.

COME ON, BILLY, GOING THIS WAY.

I KNOW, I KNOW.

SHE SAYS THE PROPOSED PLACES AREN'T UP THE PAR WITH THEIR CURRENT LOCATION, SAYING THE SLIGHT INCLINES AND DECLINES AT CERTAIN STOPS MAKE IT HARDER ON THE HORSES.

THERE'S STILL INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE PARK.

NOW, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS IS IF THERE'S A BUNCH OF HORSES IN FRONT OF ME, AND I'M PARKED HERE, NOW I'VE GOT TO LEAVE BECAUSE I HAVE TO GO HOME.

HOW AM I GOING TO GET OUT?

I'VE GOT TO HAVE EVERYBODY IN FRONT OF ME OR TRY TO GO OVER THIS CURB AND POTENTIALLY CAUSE A PROBLEM OR TEAR UP MY WHEELS OR WHATEVER.

YOU CAN GO OVER CURBS, BUT YOU HAVE TO GET IT AT THE RIGHT ANGLE.

A MORE DETAILED PLAN HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED, BUT THE MAYOR HINTED THERE WOULD BE INFRASTRUCTURE PUT IN PLACE.

AND SOME ARE APPLAUDING THE MOVE.

CENTRAL PARK IS ONE OF THE TOP FIVE TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

I THINK THE IDEA THAT THEY'RE GOING TO LOSE BUSINESS BY MERELY BEING 100 FEET WITHIN THE PARK IS RIDICULOUS.

SHE'S THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NEW YORKERS FOR AN ANIMAL ADVOCATES RIGHT GROUP.

THE CARRIAGE INDUSTRY WANTS TO OPERATE LIKE IT'S STILL 1918, BUT IT'S 2018.

THERE'S MORE CARS THAN EVER ON THE ROAD.

MIDTOWN IS SO CONGESTED.

SHE EASY THE MOVE IS GOOD FOR HORSES AND WILL GET THEM OUT OF CITY TRAFFIC WHERE SOMETIMES THEY CAN BE STARTLED OR SLOW DOWN TRAFFIC.

AND ALMOST ON CUE, TRAFFIC CHIMED IN ON OUR CONVERSATION.

THIS IS CLEARLY A VERY INTENSELY CONGESTED AREA, WITH SWEFBING VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC NOT STOP.

SO THE PLAN WOULD REMOVE THE HORSES FROM DOING JUST THIS, MAKING THE TURN ON CENTRAL PARK SOUTH AND WOULD NO LONGER HAVE THEM LINING UP HERE.

THIS IS A VERY BUSY, NOISY, CHAOTIC AREA ALL THE TIME.

WHAT IT WOULD DO IS MOVE THEM RIGHT INTO THE ENTRANCE OF THE PARK.

JUST 100 FEET BACK.

THIS PLAN WILL STILL ALLOW FOR HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES TO RIGHT ON THE PRIM TIER STREET OF THE PARK.

THIS APPROACH IS DIFFERENT THAN THE OTHER TWO TIMES THE MAJOR APPROACHED THE HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE INDUSTRY.

THERE WILL BE A HEARING ON OCTOBER 3rd.

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