New Yorkers to de Blasio: Keep the horses
March 19th, 2014
01:17 PM ET
6 months ago

New Yorkers to de Blasio: Keep the horses

(CNN) - Most New Yorkers apparently don't agree with their new mayor's push to ban horse-drawn carriages from the city.

And a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday also indicates that most New York City voters don't favor Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to pay for universal pre-kindergarten.

According to the survey, 64% of New York City voters say that de Blasio shouldn't ban the horse-drawn carriages, a longtime popular attraction with tourists visiting the city, with just under a quarter questioned in favor of the move.

At the end of last year, soon after he was elected in a landslide victory and just before he was inaugurated as mayor, de Blasio announced plans to immediately outlaw the carriages once in office.

"We are going to get rid of horse carriages, period," de Blasio said at a news conference, saying that the practice is inhumane.

De Blasio said he favored replacing the carriages with electric antique cars driven by the same carriage drivers, which he said would be more humane and still be appealing to tourists.

But the mayor's push to ban the carriages has stalled for now, with the City Council not yet acting on the proposal, and celebrities taking sides. The latest to weigh in: longtime animal rights activist Pink supports de Blasio's move, with actor Liam Neeson opposed.

"On an issue that has generated an immense amount of interest – with celebrities speaking loudly on both sides – voters reject almost 3-1 Mayor de Blasio's opposition to horse-drawn carriages," said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Maurice Carroll.

How to pay for pre-K

Eighty-six percent of New York City voters support government funded universal pre-K, another issue that the mayor's pushing. But by a 54%-35% margin, the poll indicates they back New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to pay for universal pre-K using existing state funds rather than de Blasio's proposal to pay for pre-K with a city income tax hike on families making more than $500,000 per year.

De Blasio, the first Democrat in two decades to serve as New York mayor, has a 45%-34% approval/disapproval rating in the Quinnipiac poll. That's down from a 53%-13% rating in mid-January Quinnipiac survey.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted March 12-17, with 1,234 New York City voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Bill de Blasio • New York
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    When I visited Mackinac Island, the two distinct aromas that greeted me were horse manure and fudge. Like NYC, it is a great place to visit. Keep the horse drawn carriages.

    March 19, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    At least keep them in Central Park, man. Good grief. Hey, Bill. Why don't you take your wife out for a nice ride one warm spring evening....in say early June? Okey doke?

    March 19, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Jan Nappylotto

    "We are going to get rid of horse carriages, period,”

    Guess our liberal warlords need to stop finishing their edicts with the word "period".

    March 19, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Bessy

    Horse drawn carriages are part of the NYC scene. Keep them.

    March 19, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Lauren

    Inhumane....This is not the case. Think of those who still use horses for transport, like the Amish. Those horses move at a trot for miles. These NYC carriage horses walk down the street.... If only people would get in touch with reality, perhaps think of why horses were domesticated and their use for us as people, we selectively bred them for work. Since the industrial revolution this has changed with the advent of motorized vehicles as a replacement for horses. (Hence the term 'horsepower". Keep the horses in NYC, it gives them a purpose and a meaning.

    March 19, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Burbank

    I used to own horses. These carriage horses in NY are not being hurt, abused or overworked. The animal rights activistis (I am an activist myself on occassion) have it wrong on this one and don't know what they are talking about. What's next? Banning owning horses as pets because riding them is unnatural and cruel? Should they all be returned to the wild? Considering that we have overpopulated this country to the point of shamefullness, there would be no where to put them. Time to get a clue, the carriage horses are just fine, and being out in the park working is interesting for them, better than being cooped up in a stall or small paddock all day.

    March 19, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Boo

    Keep them in Central Park and out of city traffic.

    March 19, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    He's also trying to outlaw charter schools. Period.

    March 19, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. timverba

    Inhumane – but horses are not humans. I think the use of horse drawn carriages is quite equine.

    March 19, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. DBRENNER

    As a strong supporter of the Capitalist free enterprise system, individual achievement and rewards for that achievement I can be amused at the misery that New Yorkers have brought down upon themselves. Its not just that you deserve it for electing this bizarre individual, but the resulting nonsense will no doubt have a strong positivvve impact on the more fortunate parts of the country.

    March 19, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. reasonablebe

    it's a crazy city. horses bring down the stress levels- they are peaceful and calm in a sea of nutsiness...

    March 19, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Enuff Already

    You vote a tyrant like De Blasio in and this is what you deserve.

    March 19, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Alex

    Get rid of the horses. They have no place in the modern city like the Apple and in the midst of all traffic traffic. That's not just inhumane, it's inhuman to treat animals this way. I fully support the mayor on this.

    March 19, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. reasonablebe

    people who own horses (at least most of them, as there is never 100% of anything) love their horses and care for them like family. carriages are not abuse. horses are domesticated and have been bred to get positive 'feelings' and to like people and working with people. anyone who has spent time and worked with horses can tell a happy horse.

    they are not people. they are horses. would you suggest dogs are abused because they are on a leash or are sent to chase a ball, or are asked to do rescue work?

    March 19, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. much thunder...little rain

    de blasio is a fool...poor new york..ugh......i bet toronto mayor ford says thank goodness for de blasio

    March 19, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. stephenson

    It's dangerous for horses and people with all theNYC traffic. Horses have been hit and fallen and the people inside(tourists)thrown to the ground. If you want someone to die, or sue the city–keep the horses. If you care about injuries and death to horses and people, ban these rides. The horses do not belong in heavy NYC traffic, which they have to do to get to the park and back every day. Get real, people. This is not about a fluffy experience–it is about risk, safety, health for humans and horses.

    March 19, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. stephenson

    It's dangerous for people and horses to have them in heavy NYC traffic, which they have to navigate to get and from the park everyday. Horses and carriages have been hit by taxis, etc, and the entire carriage overturned, the tourists thrown the the ground and the horse too. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and a risk to the health and safety of horses and people, so why do it just to have a 'photo-op' or pretend you are living in a bygone age? In the summer when it's hot it's even worse for the horses to be out in traffic pulling heavy loads, often too heavy for their weight. Horses have dropped down dead in the street. It is not right, it is barbaric. And if you want to keep them, believe me, it is not going to work. Someone is going to end up in the hospital one of these days when the carriages and horses are hit in traffic or when the horse drops down dead.

    March 19, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    He's also trying to outlaw charter schools. Period.
    ---------------------------
    That is not true at all, and you know it. He revoked Bloomberg's approval on 9 out of 40 some odd schools. The one that is causing all of the uproar should not have been approved, not unless you are in favor of privatization of our public schools.

    The particular school at the center of the controversy had been approved to share space with a non-charter school. The conventional public school was for special needs children, and the approval meant dividing the school in half, as well as the number of special needs children that would be helped. To top it off, the for-profit charter school would be able to use the space rent free. One side of the building would be exclusively, while the other side would not.

    It is a disgrace that the CEO of the for-profit charter school, who operates a couple dozen schools and pays herself an annual salary of nearly half a million dollars, would have the absolute gall to think that she has a right to not only displace special needs children in the name of her profit, but that she demands that she be provided free buildings at taxpayer expense.

    Any questions?

    March 19, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. stephenson

    It's dangerous for people and horses to have them in heavy NYC traffic, which they have to navigate to get and from the park everyday. Horses and carriages have been hit by taxis, etc, and the entire carriage overturned, the tourists thrown the the ground and the horse too. This is a risk to the health and safety of horses and people. In the summer when it's hot it's even worse for the horses to be out in traffic pulling heavy loads, often too heavy for their weight. Horses have dropped down dead in the street. I fear that people are going to end up in the hospital one of these days when the carriages and horses are hit in traffic or when the horse drops down dead.

    March 19, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Tampa Tim

    Fair – The mayor approved 36 of the 45, so I think you are merely repeating Fox lies. There is some question why people in charge of some charter schools are paid in excess of $400,000 while the public school superintendent gets less than half of that amount.

    March 19, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. ATPMSD

    Instead of getting rid of the horses how about updating rules to ensure they are treated humanly? Or does that require too much brain power Mr. Mayor?

    March 19, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. fyre

    Article completely lacks any info on why carriage horses should be banned. From the Humane Society website : "The most recent independent audit of the NYC carriage industry by the city comptroller found that the city's horses are not provided with enough water, risk overheating on hot asphalt, and are forced to stand in their own waste in stables. " The carriage industry needs to at minimum be better regulated.

    March 19, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Vaughn

    I lost so much respect for DeBlasio when he made this his signature issue upon inauguration. Really? You have police brutality and sky high housing costs and you claim that horses drawn carriages are some how inhumane? THis is NOT a major concern. And it is absurd to think that these horses are being mistreated. Animal rights activists are idiots for the most part and should not be relied upon as a source of legitimate data. Keep the horses!!

    March 19, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    stephenson

    It's dangerous for people and horses to have them in heavy NYC traffic, which they have to navigate to get and from the park everyday.
    --------------------
    The horse stables are located in Central Park. Obviously, you're talking about a different park.

    March 19, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. justuandme

    I am pretty sure the people you have voted to keep the horses are not New York natives. Though it is true that carriages has always been in NY and I would hate to see them go. It is inhumnane in todays world. The horses are working much harder than earlier years. It is more about a business now opposed to giving the horses a purpose as someone stated. If you lived n New York you would know how much a horse is on his feet regardless of weather. Then they have to travel all the way down town to the stables. The horses get over worked. Its a wonder that we dont hear about the horses that collapses on the streets. Only once in a while it makes it to the news. Yes Horses were domesticated to help us through the evolution. But now as an advanced society we need to stop thinking about or selves and stop living in a box. How would you feel if you had a cart on your back al day? Think of a mom carring two kids. Moms can barely survive a couple hours and forget dads. Most don't even offer help. Its considered the womans duty. So unless you can manage caring and carrying two kids on your back with those baby carriages made for your back... You all should not talk about keeping the horse carriages.

    March 19, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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