Mayor Bill de Blasio's deal to keep the horse carriage industry alive is getting mixed reviews. That's because the agreement may actually end up killing another business, as NY1's Michael Scotto reports.
Even on a cold day, tourists flock to the edge of Central Park to take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
"I thought it was absolutely fabulous," said one.
Under a major deal struck by Mayor de Blasio and the union representing carriage drivers, those rides would continue, although the industry itself would be scaled back, removed from city streets and restricted to the greenspace of Central Park.
The compromise marks the end of long political fight that started when candidate de Blasio vowed in 2013 to outlaw the industry altogether.
"It's a lot of progress," de Blasio said. "It's real progress. It's not everything I wanted. I think I've been quite clear about that."
Under the deal, 75 horses would be allowed in Central Park at one time, down from a recent high of 220.
The horses would also be moved from their West Side home to stables that would be constructed in the middle of the park and would have room for 68 carriages.
"The positives are we were meant to be banned and then we were meant to be driven electric cars," said Horse Carriage Owner and Operator Stephen Malone with Teamsters Local 533. "We have now secured 68 carriages long-term from people from all over the world will enjoy their carriage rides through Central Park"
The industry, though, does have some concerns. They're worried about job losses and fear they'll no longer be able to pick up passengers along Central Park South.
The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages says the cutback isn't enough.
According to a statement issued by the coalition, it opposes the deal for many reasons including:
"...the sensitive, nervous nature of the horses...and punishing working conditions."
The pedicab industry is also livid. That's because the agreement would prohibit pedicabs from operating in Central Park below 85th Street.
"This is largely the end of pedicabs in New York City," said pedicab operator Laramie Flick. "The northern part there's not that much to see and the hills are deadly for a physically powered vehicle."
The deal needs to be approved by the City Council.