Boarding areas for horse-drawn carriages may move into Central Park

CENTRAL PARK, Manhattan (WABC) -- Passenger boarding areas for horse-drawn cabs may potentially be constructed in Central Park.

The de Blasio administration announced Thursday it will begin the rulemaking process to establish boarding areas for horse-drawn cabs at several major Central Park entrances.

The new rule will designate specific locations within Central Park as passenger boarding areas for horse-drawn cabs, moving them from heavily-congested nearby locations along Central Park South.

"DOT (Department of Transportation) is happy to work with our sister agencies, the Parks Department and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to promote the well-being of horses and road users," DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. "By limiting boarding of horse-drawn cabs to designated areas within Central Park, the amount of time that horses spend alongside vehicular traffic will be reduced - thus reducing potential harm to the animals."

The proposed rule will not reduce the overall space allotted to boarding areas. and none of the proposed boarding areas are located on the Central Park Loop Drive itself.

The New York Carriage Association says they will sue the city over this plan, saying they need their horse carriages to be visible to the public and if they are hidden in the park, pedicabs will simply pick up their passengers

The proposed designated locations for horse-drawn cab pick-up and drop-offs will be located at:

-Grand Army Plaza: In the center lane at the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Central Park.
-East 72nd Street Entrance: On the north curb approximately 50 feet west of 5th Avenue.
-West 72nd Street Entrance: On the east curb approximately 130 feet east of Central Park West.
-West 67th Roundabout: On the north curb of the roundabout next to Tavern on the Green.
-Seventh Avenue Entrance: On the east curb, approximately 20 feet north of Central Park South.

The proposed rule was drafted by the DOT, in consultation with other city agencies, and is expected to take effect later this fall. A public hearing is scheduled in October.

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