Korifaeus Magazine

••• The Big Brother's, oops, i mean Apple's Gazette ••• A Sophisticated Periodical with Panache and a Sense of Humor

New York’s Horse-drawn Carriages and other Transportation Controversies

Petty Cabs
By Korifaeus

Perhaps you’ve heard of the goal of some animal activist groups to put a stop to New York City’s Horse-drawn Carriages. It’s been going on for a couple of years, or so, now. These Horse Carriages are as much an Attraction of New York City as Columbus Circle or Central Park. They’re depicted in post-cards, Advertisements, Tourist maps, etc. because they’ve become part of the city; though i myself have never taken a ride in a horse carriage, a lot of tourists take great joy in it, as do couples to romantically celebrate an anniversary, or just simply have a romantic date.

We’ve lost a tremendous amount of well known New York city sights in recent years where celebratory events used to take place; the Rainbow Room, for example, with its fantastic view of the city where many New Yorkers held their wedding reception, celebrated Valentine’s day, New Year’s Eve, etc. Or the
“Tavern on the Green” in Central Park, and lots of other places ( Remember “Daks” on the upper west side, Broadway and 91st street ? I miss the Saturday brunches there; GREAT lox and bagels AND coffee)

Thus one wonders how much more will we lose in Manhattan that has become PART of the city ?

I often walk 59th street, starting at Columbus circle, up to 5th Avenue,( On the left starts Central Park) and ALWAYS look at the horses parked at the curb, sometimes patting them, and for the decades i’ve done so, i’ve never seen a starving animal, nor one appearing to’ve been mistreated. In all the years i’ve walked through Central Park ( i live in the neighborhood and see the carriages ride on the streets, as well ) , i’ve never seen a Horse carriage accident, as described in some papers with photos showing apparent accidents.

I’m not saying it’s not possible that horse and carriage accidents may’ve occurred in the past, nor that it’s impossible that some animals have indeed been mistreated. But for the most part, over 90 percent i’m sure, the animals look well fed, clean, well treated and the horse keepers appear to always clean up after their animals, should a horse-apple fall on the curb where they’re parked, or so.

Do car accidents occur resulting in injuries and deaths of people ? Yes, all over the world and daily. Should we stop people from driving because it’s so dangerous with people getting injured, even losing their lives ?

Do horseback riding accidents occur with riders injured ? Yes, and often enough; need i remind anyone of Christopher Reeves ? Should we forbid horseback riding to stop such accidents from occurring ? What about Horse racing ? A lot of horses get injured during horse races. It happens and horses can injure themselves in their natural habitat, as well, the same way people can injure themselves jogging or running. With the only difference – our bones heal easily when fractured. The bones of horses do not, thus when fractured the horse will most likely have to be put down, so to stop the horse from suffering.

But just because “accidents” happen, a horse being startled by a car, or by a bicyclist riding too fast past the carriage, etc. is it fair to take away the livelihood of the carriage drivers, most of whom are decent =, hard working people ? Should the great many horse carriage owners, treating their animals well, suffer and lose their job because of a handful of horse owners having mistreated their animals ? I think not.

Aside from that they charge reasonable prices, they have licenses and i’ve never heard of any complaints about scams, unlike…..

…the pedicabs of Central Park. The pedicabs, small carriages drawn by a bicyclist, are a whole other story that should absolutely be looked into because they have the WORST reputation in New York. They’re often operated by “illegal” immigrants who come here as tourists, then overstay their tourist visa, but stay here and get jobs as pedicab drivers, without anyone asking to see their work-permit, or legal residentship, etc.

The problem with that is that a LOT of them charge such HUGE amounts of money AFTER arriving at the destination, that tourists, visitors, etc. feel conned, after having been giving the impression they’d pay an x-amount per minute, but end up paying whatever the driver DEMANDS from them. The reports are SO numerous, along with reports of having felt intimidated by the drivers yelling at their customers with strong slavic accents ( Ukraine, Kroatia, Poland, Russia, etc. ) that they just pay the amount demand from them.

Due to many not being “legal” immigrants they can’t be held accountable for their scams and many appear indeed to scam folks out of a LOT of money.

Example. A couple, formerly New Yorkers, come to town to see some Broadway shows. The traffic has gotten pretty bad around Broadway/ Time Square in the evening ( rush hour) and the couple is late for the theater thus quickly grabs a pedicab positive it would get them on time to the theater. It only took a couple of minutes indeed from 51st street to 47th street,and how much were they demanded to pay ? $70.00

That’s OUTRAGEOUS as it is, but NOTHING compared to what a LOT of other folks were “demanded” to pay for a few minute pedicab ride, like $90.00 to $130.00 ? YEP, and that’s very well known while yet these illegals pulling these scams can hardly be made accountable ‘cuz they have no registered addresses; meaning the one known as Joe is no longer working there ( err officially)…. he’s now sporting a different color hair and a mustache and goes by the name of Ronny.

And regular cabs ? Most yellow cabs are safe. I very rarely take a cab; i ride the subway or bus. And even if i have to take a cab i’ve learned to become VERY careful, as most New Yorkers nowadays, who avoid getting into a cab of a cab driver asking for the exact address because one ends up feeling as if in a prison on wheels, because those cab-drivers, not accepting regular directions, like east 87th and 2nd Ave, ( street and cross- street) start yelling and screaming at customers while driving; the reports are so numerous of verbally assaultive taxi drivers, New Yorkers have become very careful when occasionally having to grab a cab.

And last but not least, Thank you Mayor Bloomberg for FINALY installing these delightful STOP-LIGHTS for bicycles.

You can click on the photo to enlarge it.
Bicylce Stop-light

Ah, what a joy, because as all New Yorkers know, it had become SO dangerous to cross the street, having to look in all directions to avoid being hit by thoughtless bicyclists; many pedestrians having ended up in the hospital getting stitches after being hit by ruthless bicyclists.

Really, if putting it all in perspective, the LEAST controversies are caused by the Horse-drawn carriages, as far as alternative transportation vehicles are concerned, in comparison to the above mentioned, won’t you agree ? Aside from that, Horse-drawn carriages create an air of romance and nostalgia, thus why not take the best of the past with us into the future 😉

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