In "Don't let New York lose part of its charm" [Editorial, Dec. 3], Newsday urged the New York City Council to vote no on a bill to ban horse-drawn carriages. The argument seems to rest solely on the assumption that residents and tourists alike appreciate the presence and tradition of these carriages.
While tradition is a strong force in NYC, it is not reason enough to keep an outdated and unnecessary convention alive. If you have recently experienced these carriage rides, as I have, you will understand what a trip on one is like.
After you pay the exorbitant fee to take a ride, you are downwind of some unpleasant smells as you sit in gridlocked traffic inhaling exhaust fumes -- which cannot be good for you or the horse.
You huddle with your sweetheart under a questionable, dirty blanket as you worry if the carriage will give way and fall over at any moment. Your trip is a far cry from the Cinderella-esque vision everyone has of a carriage ride through the park.
New York is a city of innovation. We can turn an abandoned above-ground rail line into the successful High Line park. We see something that can stand for improvement, and we do it. If horse carriages leave a vacancy, it can be filled by an new innovation, one that becomes an NYC tradition for generations to come.
Change is good, so let's get rid of the carriages.
Kyle Berube, Holtsville