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Letter: Get rid of NYC horse carriages

People protest against the use of carriage horses

People protest against the use of carriage horses at Central Park on April 24, 2014 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

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While tradition is a strong force in NYC, it is not reason enough to keep an outdated and unnecessary convention alive.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