Sorry, But de Blasio Actually Can’t Do Anything About the Central Park Carriage Horses

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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)
Photo: Spencer Platt/2010 Getty Images

It’s kind of difficult to remember now, but one of Mayor de Blasio’s big campaign promises was to eliminate Central Park’s carriage-horse industry on “day one” of his administration. (After hearing de Blasio’s position, animal-rights activists spent a lot of money attacking de Blasio’s chief opponent, the pro-carriage Christine Quinn, which likely helped him win the 2013 election.) Now, the mayor has admitted that he doesn’t actually have the power to replace the horses and their (unionized) human operators with a more inanimate form of transport.

De Blasio can’t get rid of the carriage horses without approval from the City Council, and it’s become clear that the legislature simply isn’t interested in a ban. “Council sources said the bill has little support, with one member saying only a handful of members would probably vote for a ban now,” reports the Daily News.

“What I would say to every advocate is, you already have my vote; go get the votes in the City Council. Solidify the support in the City Council so we can make this change,” said de Blasio on Wednesday. “That’s where people should put their energy.” It seems that, at 18 months into his first term, he has other things to worry about.