NEW YORK— The de Blasio administration wants to establish new passenger boarding areas for horse-drawn cabs at several major Central Park entrances. The new rule will designate specific locations within Central Park as passenger boarding areas for horse-drawn cabs, moving them from heavily-congested nearby locations along Central Park South.
Relocating boarding areas within Central Park will reduce the amount of time that horses spend alongside vehicular traffic, limiting horses’ interaction and potential conflict with vehicular traffic, thereby promoting the safety and well-being of the horses. The proposed rule will not reduce the overall space allotted to boarding areas. None of the proposed boarding areas are located on the Central Park Loop Drive itself.
The proposed designated locations for horse-drawn cab pick-up and drop-offs will be located at:
- Grand Army Plaza: In the center lane at the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Central Park.
- East 72nd Street Entrance: On the north curb approximately 50 feet west of 5th Avenue.
- West 72nd Street Entrance: On the east curb approximately 130 feet east of Central Park West.
- West 67th Roundabout: On the north curb of the roundabout next to Tavern on the Green.
- Seventh Avenue Entrance: On the east curb, approximately 20 feet north of Central Park South.
The proposed rule was drafted by the Department of Transportation, in consultation with other city agencies, and is expected to take effect later this fall. A public hearing is scheduled in October.
“DOT is happy to work with our sister agencies, the Parks Department and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to promote the well-being of horses and road users,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “By limiting boarding of horse-drawn cabs to designated areas within Central Park, the amount of time that horses spend alongside vehicular traffic will be reduced – thus reducing potential harm to the animals.”
“While moving the passenger boarding area for horse drawn cabs will not wholly eliminate the possibility for conflicts between horses and other modes of transportation, taking the reasonable step will reduce the amount of time that horses spend alongside of vehicular traffic and thereby limit horses’ interaction and potential conflict with vehicular traffic,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett.
“We are ready to work with Health, DOT and the Central Park Conservancy to put into effect this plan to better manage the carriage traffic flow in and around Central Park, benefitting the horses and all who come from around the world to experience this city gem,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.
“We look forward to working with DOT, NYC Parks, and other City agencies to implement a comprehensive plan that accommodates horse carriages in Central Park while also ensuring a broad and growing range of park user groups can enjoy the park safely,” Central Park Conservancy President and CEO Elizabeth W. Smith. “As always, our primary concern and focus is working with the city to ensure the stewardship of the Park and the public’s safe enjoyment of it.”
Map of the proposed designated locations in Central Park: