Exclusive: Bloomberg On Central Park Manure: What Manure?

Mayor Really Steps In It, Gives History Lesson But No Solutions To Problem

NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the manure mess on Wednesday — the piles and piles of droppings left by horse-drawn carriages on the streets in and around Central Park.

As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports exclusively, manure is a “nagging” problem, but does the city have a solution?

You might say that the mayor really stepped in it this time.

Kramer discussed the issue with him during a news conference on Wednesday.

Kramer: “Mr. Mayor, there are piles and piles of horse manure left by carriage drivers around Central Park, the streets around it.”
Bloomberg: “Do you have pictures of it — piles and piles?”
Kramer: “Yes.”
Bloomberg: “Way to go. I knew you would.”

What Bloomberg didn’t seem to grasp or acknowledge was it was a serious question. CBS 2 found horse manure, stinky, smelly horse manure left by horse-drawn carriages in crosswalks where pedestrians and bicyclists had to navigate around it, and all through Central Park where runners call one stretch “horse (expletive) alley.”

“The dust, the dirt, the smell, it makes it difficult to walk to run to do anything out here,” Manhattan resident Asher Lipman said on Tuesday when Kramer first reported the story.

“It’s a disgusting smell, very bad, makes the whole park smell very bad,” pedicab driver Aziz Gassambe added.

Kramer wanted to know why the city doesn’t take action, but first she got an English lesson.

Kramer: “Walking though it, driving through it, bicycling through it, pedicabbing through it; it’s disgusting. They’re furious.”
Bloomberg: “’Disgusting’ is an adjective. I’m not sure as a reporter you should be using adjectives.”

Then Kramer got a history lesson.

“I’d just like to point out that long before you were born, or me included, the streets were covered, covered with horse manure,” Bloomberg said.

Finally, there was the question many of those who live in the area or use the park are asking:

Kramer: “Mr. Mayor, why not ticket the drivers the way you ticket dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets?”

Bloomberg: “I think we should. I think we should stop going after bad guys, stop worrying about crime and worry about horse manure.

“I will certainly look into it. I’ll ask the police commissioner whether without any overtime our police department has the time to give out tickets.”

Horse droppings are not an insignificant problem. The so-called manure catchers in the back of the horse miss a lot. Driver Ian McKeever of Shamrock Stables said that a lot falls out.

“About 80 pounds I would say,” McKeever said.

Kramer then told Bloomberg the carriage drivers admit that 80 pounds hits the ground, to which the mayor said, “Well, if the drivers admit that, number one, they’re stupid. Eighty pounds? And who goes out and measures the weight? I mean I want to make sure we have our facts right.”

So while the mayor certainly had a lot to say about the horse manure problem, it’s unclear whether he’ll actually do something about it.

After the mayor’s press conference, CBS 2 pursued the issue with the Health Department. A spokeswoman admitted drivers can be fined up to $1,000 for not cleaning up manure.

However, she was unable to say if any tickets had ever been given out. She said she would have to “check” to see if Health Department agents would be dispatched to police the drivers.

Do you think the mayor should take this issue more seriously? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • Bill Norris

    Hi I have the solution. I can fit Vacuums, special made for horse manure.
    It will create employment, and keep your city clean.


  • hhh799

    Now I don’t claim to be very knowledgable about the ins and outs of horses and their manure, nor the ups and downs of New York City’s econonomic woes as relates to overtime pay for the police ticketing buggy drivers who don’t pick up after their horses.However, I can’t believe that someone with the horsesense of Mayor Bloomberg passed up an opportuity to express himself regarding possible “shovel ready jobs” for New Yorkers. Composted horse manure I believe can be used as fertilizer. So much for repurposing or recycling or going “green”, euphamistically, that is. For all those who question why dog owners are fined for not picking up after their pets while buggy drivers are not fined for not picking up after their horses, I would guess those people never had pets or just had cats, caged birds, caged gerbles,caged ginea pigs or goldish as pets and no free roaming pets like turtles or iguanas. I suspect they use wipes as well as toilet paper, possibly a bidet or even a shower followowing their own eliminations. Maybe barn, paper trained or house broken horses walked twice a day might make the fining of buggy drivers more feasible. As for runnesr, bikers, skateboarders, rollerbladers and skooter jockeys who might complain about putting up with horse manure during their jaunts…. what chutzper, given all the existing dedicated paths for runners and most recently bikers who indiscriminantly cross all purported protected pedestrian park walkways and all the remaining pedestrian non-paths at bone-break speeds without even yielding for pedestrians as is currentlly mandated for automobiles. What kind of “***** manure is that? Perhaps the city should mandate pedestrians exchange places off sidewalks with everyone else who should use the sidewalks and begin obeying crosswalk and jaywalkng rules in their stead. Then maybe those buggy drivers would have to “curb” their horses. And of couse what can be said of the media just skipping their way from paddy to paddy creating breaking news?

  • Linda Marcus

    Central Park is one of the jewels of the city. Why are the carriage drivers allowed to smell up the park and have all the rest of the park users put up with it? Those who don’t believe how bad it is need to walk on or near the park drives on a warm day. Central Park should be a breath of fresh air for the people of the city and not stinky for the sake of an all cash tourist attraction. I would like to know how much in taxes the city makes from this business.

  • Janet Weeks V

    Why not just ban horse-drawn carriages altogether as the cruel and archaic means of transportation they are? I’m sure the horses would be a heck of a lot happier if they didn’t have to pull a bunch of lazy humans around and breathe noxious fumes from city traffic all day long, 24/7. Free the horses! Problem solved.

  • Linda Marcus

    Central Park is one of the jewels of the city. Why are the carriage drivers allowed to smell up the park and have all other park users put up with it? Those who don’t believe how bad it is need to walk on or even near any of the park drives on a warm day. Central Park should be a breath of fresh air for the people of the city and not stinky for the sake of an all cash tourist attraction. I would like to know how much in taxes the city makes from this business.

  • jim mc daid

    Well done Mr Mayor,what with all that is going on in this city this is the most noteworthy news Marcia Kramer can come up with,Pathetic,not but i must congratulate channel 2 for their choice off reporter,thats some nose that girl has.

  • PattyA

    Really, Martia, haven’t you anything better to whine about?

    I am no fan of Bloomberg, but he is right here.

    As for the unhappy runners and cyclists, they have a HUGE almost 900 acre park that they have already taken over. So, WHY do they CHOOSE to run in the one area with horses? Just to have something to bitch about?

    Totally ridiculous “news” story. You don’t like nature then STAY HOME!

  • midi-man

    We shoud think green on this and dump that manure on the grass. It’s great futilizer

    • midi-man


      We should think green on this and dump that manure on the grass. It’s great fertilizer. Guess the mayor is not a green as I thought.

  • Mustaphah Ackbar

    Since our exalted ruler Meyer Bloomberg insists on precise evidence, I would suggest that every horse be equipped with a special box wrapped around the horses hips so that the drivers could collect a sizable assortment of samples. Then they could go as a group to Bloombergs personal residence, drop the samples in a large pile and set them all on fire every day until this boob has the common decency to at least respect the situation. It might not be a priority with all the bugetary issues, but insolence and sarcasm to some simple questions deserves appropriate responses, as does the question of how Mr. Bloomberg honestly acquired 18 billion dollars in the stock market, as well as how he had the gall to buy a third term, which is supposed to be against the rules. Is he another one of the chosen people? Let a flaming ton of horse dung be his burning bush!


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  • Bob

    What an Idiot this guy is.

  • HorsePuck

    Apparenly the mayor’s sh#T stinks more than the horses’. Hence, the reason why he doesn’t notice it.

  • BF

    Leave it in front of the Mayor’s house. Then he’ll do something about it…

  • Charlie


  • Frank

    The Mayor was 100% right. Leave those horse carriages alone.


    THE MAYOR IS OUT OF HIS MIND ON THIS AND MOST OTHER ISSUES IN THIS CITY ON THE 12/27/11 BLIZZARD .”The world has not come to an end,” THE MAYOR SAID. “The city’s going on. Many people are taking the day off. Most stores are open. There’s no reason for anybody to panic.”

  • Ken

    With a fine of up to $1,000 per incident, I would think that our mayor might consider enforcement of this to be a potential source of income for NYC. Maybe with the money from these fines and possibly even from enforcement of motor vehicle traffic laws, we’d be able to hire some additional police to “go after bad guys”. Mr. Mayor, please “get off your own high horse” and look out for the citizens of this city, not just for the real estate sector.

  • Mr. Ed

    Why don’t we require the mounted police to clean up after their horses relieve themselves? Ridiculous – was it a slow news day?

  • fredred

    Regarding manure – The Mayor was right . Ranking by priorities, manure should be next to last. Have the horses just started to relieve themselves? This has been around for years. NY has bigger worries. Marcia your new blond hair is covering your eyes, cut it. By the way – lose the ghoulish make-up – you’re beginning to look like an aging actress.

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