Horse carriage and pedicab drivers hold protest at City Hall

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Dave Evans has the details from City Hall.

Now that a deal is reached in the horse carriage debate opponents are coming out strong.

Horse carriage drivers are upset about losing their jobs and park advocates are now questioning the price tag for a new stable.

Even pedicab drivers are bristling over the proposal that would ban them from most of Central Park.

The mayor has grappled with the issue for two years, but there is anger and protest from drivers.

They doubt a stable within Central Park will ever be built. It would keep horses out of busy midtown traffic.

"Why should we trust Mayor de Blasio with this beautiful business," said Ian McKeever, a carriage driver.

The agreement hammered out by the mayor not only calls for moving a stable to Central Park in two years, but it also cuts 220 horses down to 95. Also, only in the park, pedicabs would be banned south of 85th Street.

"Save our jobs, save our jobs," the pedicab drivers chanted.

The pedicab drivers marched around City Hall on Tuesday, furiously asking why they are being punished.

"A ban below 85th Street, what would that do to your business?" Eyewitness News asked.

"It would wipe it out, pretty much," said Garth Burton, a pedicab driver.

"It's not fair; they're trying to destroy our business. We have families we have to feed also," aid Abdu Al Munteser, a pedicab driver.

Lawyers are hinting at a lawsuit. Out of the 95 horses in the stable, only 75 could work in the park at one time.

Obviously if you restrict it to 75 horses, 75 horses then are doing the work that 90 or 110 or 120 horses used to do, that makes no sense. It lacks horse sense. So the lawyers say whoa!

But still the mayor's not backing down.

"No question, again, horses don't belong on the streets of the biggest city in the country, in the middle of midtown traffic," Mayor de Blasio said.

This agreement on the horses now goes to a vote at the City Council, but so many people are upset about this agreement that it might not be such a done deal after all.
Related Topics:
politicshorse-drawn carriageshorsescentral parkbill de blasioNew York City
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