Central Park Carriage Horses Now Have a Proposed Machine Replacement

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NEW YORK - APRIL 15:  A man waits in a horse drawn carriage outside of Central Park on April 15, 2010 in New York, New York. A new law that passed the New York City Council will require carriage horses to have bigger stalls, five weeks of yearly rest time, and blankets to keep them warm in cold temperatures. The law, which is expected to be signed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will also raise the price of a carriage ride to $50 for the first 20 minutes instead of the current $34 for the first half-hour.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 15: A man waits in a horse drawn carriage outside of Central Park on April 15, 2010 in New York, New York. A new law that passed the New York City Council will require carriage horses to have bigger stalls, five weeks of yearly rest time, and blankets to keep them warm in cold temperatures. The law, which is expected to be signed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will also raise the price of a carriage ride to $50 for the first 20 minutes instead of the current $34 for the first half-hour. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Photo: Spencer Platt/2010 Getty Images

The burden of horses forced to lug around tourists in Central Park could be lifted by a "faux-vintage electric car," a $12,500 two-foot model of which made its debut yesterday. The anti-carriage lobbying group NY-Class showed off the white-wheeled, antique-looking car yesterday, and promised, "They’re guaranteed not to urinate or defecate in the middle of your romantic moment." Each can seat up to six tourists and comes complete with an "ah-hoogah" horn. The proposal would have current carriage owners trade in their licenses for car medallions, with each vehicle costing between $125,000 and $175,000. "I don’t think there are any kids out there that are going to want to pet and kiss the fender of a car," one carriage-horse stable owner scoffed, but maybe he's underestimating the appeal of the mythical "ah-hoogah" horn.

Meet the Contraption That Wants to Replace Central Park Horses [City Room/NYT]