A proposal to drastically limit the size of New York City’s horse-and-carriage industry—an issue of bizarre significance to Bill de Blasio’s mayoral administration—will not be voted on by the City Council this Friday, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times are reporting.
Citing a “person familiar with the matter,” the Journal notes that the Teamsters, the union representing carriage drivers, pulled out of the the deal, which would cut the number of horses in half and limit them to Central Park. The New York Times hinted at a similar development earlier this week. The bill, which also called for the construction of new stables inside the park and the banning of pedicabs below 86th street, would have cost taxpayers $20 million or more.
NYCLASS, the animal-rights organization that is the most vocal proponent of limiting the industry, donated both to de Blasio’s mayoral campaign and to a campaign of attack ads against Christine Quinn, his most formidable candidate in the 2013 election. The mayor initially promised to ban the horses outright on his first day in office, but settled on the current bill after it became clear that he had very little public or legislative support.
The mayor generally enjoys a cozy relationship with the Council and its speaker, Melissa Mark Viverito, and according to the Journal, his staffers “wanted a quick vote and to have the issue over with.” If the last two years are any indication, he will continue flogging this issue—beating the dead horse, as it were—despite recent setbacks.