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Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City Council leader, says no to new horse-carriage legislation

The leader of the New York City Council on Friday dismissed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vow to revive his long-stalled bid to banish horse-drawn carriages.

De Blasio’s plan, which would have banned carriages from city streets and confined them to Central Park, hit a roadblock Thursday when the drivers’ labor union pulled out of a deal negotiated by the administration.

“We’re not entertaining legislation at this time,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) said at a news conference. “We are putting that aside.”

Mark-Viverito, who has long supported a ban, controls the flow of legislation in the council, and her refusal to schedule a vote all but dooms the plan for now.

When de Blasio was a long-shot mayoral candidate in 2013, he vowed to ban horse-drawn carriages on “day one” of his administration.

But there was never an appetite in the council for a ban and opinion polls showed little public support. Last month, he announced a deal that also would have created a stable on park land at taxpayer expense. Groups including pedicab drivers, whom he would have banned from the prime section of the park, and the park’s conservancy opposed the plan vehemently. Both groups had been excluded from talks.

The mayor, who on Thursday promised “to find a way forward” did not address the matter Friday.

Confronted on Friday with Mark-Viverito’s statements suggesting the efforts were dead, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan), who backed the legislation, said he remained hopeful that “at the end of the day — again — we will be having a compromise that provides a win-win situation for everyone.”


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