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De Blasio’s latest attempt to ban horse carriages is already belly-up: sources

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The end is neigh for outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 11th-hour push to ban horse carriages from Central Park, City Council sources told The Post.

“I don’t know of anyone who’s working on a bill. I don’t see it coming together,” said one Council insider.

But de Blasio insisted Monday that he wants to end the “inhumane” practice, which he’d vowed to do when first taking office in 2014. The bid failed over concerns about 200 job loses in the industry.

“This is something we’re talking to the City Council about and it’s something, look I’ve believed for a long time the horse carriages just don’t make sense. They’re inhumane. It’s the 21st century for god-sakes,” he told reporters during his daily press briefing on Monday from City Hall.

“We’ll see if there’s something that can be done here and we’ll have an update soon,” de Blasio said.

There’s just over a month left of de Blasio’s final term in office and very little interest in boosting what many Council members see as a move by the mayor to draw donors for his political future.

“There’s no appetite for it,” said another Council source.

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City since he took office.
James Messerschmidt for NY Post

“It feels like it’s a very heavy lift,” said a third who noted that only about 10 members support a ban, another 10 are opposed, and the majority of the 51-member body is in the middle.

A Council spokeswoman said members have “not received a proposal from the Mayor. We will review anything we do receive.”

While the ban has little chance of even getting a hearing, critics charged the mayor’s efforts are a barely-veiled attempt to jumpstart his potential gubernatorial campaign or settle legal debts related to his pay-to-play corruption scandal.

“This is a pathetic, shameful, and all-too familiar transactional maneuver by Mayor de Blasio to get even more campaign money from his campaign backers,” said Tony Utano, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100 that represents horse carriage drivers.

“He doesn’t care about horses. He doesn’t care about the blue collar carriage drivers and stable workers. This has always been about campaign money and everyone knows it,” Utano said.

The bid to end the horse-drawn carriage industry in NYC has failed because of the potential loss of jobs.
Getty Images

New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets or NYCLASS, an anti-horse carriage group, spent $1 million attacking Christine Quinn, de Blasio’s opponent in the 2013 mayoral race, who supported keeping them.

Edita Birnkrant, executive director of NYCLASS, disavowed any connection to political motives behind the mayor’s bid.

“Nothing but desperate lies from the same special interests who profit off the abuse of horses and put New Yorkers’ lives in danger,” Birnkrant told The Post.

“Shouldn’t a union be fighting to create good jobs with real benefits for workers, instead of protecting wealthy carriage horse owners?”

A rep for the group said no one at NYCLASS has given any money to pay off de Blasio’s legal debts or given contributions to his new political committee associated with a potential gubernatorial campaign.

A City Hall spokeswoman said, “The Mayor has been clear since day one — this is about the horrible, inhumane conditions of horses, and an archaic system that should be altered. We are working with stakeholders to see if we can find a solution.”

Mayor-elect Eric Adams does not support the carriage ban but has said he’s open to discussing the issue. He was endorsed by the drivers’ union before the Democratic primary.



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