NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A legend of punk and new wave threw her support behind a plan to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City Wednesday.
Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders arrived at the Beacon Theatre, at 2124 Broadway on the Upper West Side, in a horseless e-carriage. She was set to perform at the theater Wednesday night.
The antique-style, fully-electric cars were designed by Jason Wenig of Florida with support from the animal rights advocate group NYCLASS. Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to deliver on a campaign promise of banning horse-drawn carriages and has proposed replacing them with the e-carriages.
Supporters say the electric carriages are safer and do not put animals in danger.
“If you want an historic trip through the city of the New York, and a romantic trip through Central Park, we suggest you use of these instead of the carriage horses — and we hope we see the end of them very soon,” Hynde said – flanked by two men wearing rubber horse masks as she rode in the back of an e-carriage.
Mayor de Blasio had wanted to ban the horses from Manhattan’s streets and Central Park during his first week in office. But in a Google Hangout video chat in April, the mayor said he expected the City Council to ban the practice by year’s end.
Carriage-horse operators and allies have loudly opposed the mayor’s plan, including actor Liam Neeson who toured the Clinton Park Stables on West 52nd Street this past summer.
Operators also say banning the horses will cost the city jobs and deprive New York of one of its iconic industries.
But de Blasio has said a changeover to e-carriages will help create jobs.
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