NY mayor mounts fresh bid to control Central Park horse carriages

New York mayor Bill de Blasio has taken up the reins again in his bid to change the nature of the horse and carriage industry for tourists around Central Park.

New York Horse and Carriage industry, at loggerheads with Mayor de Blasio who is seeking to revive his bid to curtail their presence

New York Horse and Carriage industry, at loggerheads with Mayor de Blasio who is seeking to revive his bid to curtail their presence around Central Park Image by Dan Souza / CC BY 2.0

Although his first attempt to remove the horses from the city met with strong opposition from a majority of New Yorkers, the mayor has modified his plan by talking about reducing rather than eliminating the industry that many see as integral to the park’s tourist potential.

The New York Times reports that the second coming on this issue is to shrink the number of horses from over 200 to no more than a few dozen while relocating them  from Manhattan’s West Side to a stable within the park.

While animals rights and some wealthy backers have supported de Blasio’s stance, it is a hugely divisive and unpopular subject for the broader public.

The revival of the horse and carriage issue comes at a time when the mayor is trying to reshape his PR strategy by focusing on ordinary affairs.

However he would need the City Council's support, although traditionally,  they have at best, had a lukewarm approach to the mayor’s proposed ban.

His backers have been unhappy at the slow-down on the issues after they spent close to US$1 million attacking the mayor’s main rival two years ago in the race for office. They now want action and “not just promises.”

This refers to the fact that de Blasio sought to end the industry on his first day in office but was unable to do so. During the past summer, he admitted that he needed help and instructed his advocates to lobby for support as he would be unable to change the industry on his own. Among the well-known personalities in the opposite corner to the mayor is actor Liam Neeson.

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