Updated: Horse-Drawn Carriage and DOT Car Have ‘Fender Bender’ (If That’s Possible) Near Tavern on the Green

By Carol Tannenhauser

A horse-drawn carriage allegedly sideswiped a parked Department of Transportation (DOT) car on Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. in Central Park, an eyewitness, who prefers to remain anonymous, first reported. According to the NYPD, which confirmed the incident, “the horse got spooked and the side of the carriage made contact with the car.”

“We were walking along the West Drive near Tavern on the Green when we saw the carriage try to pass the car,” the eyewitness said. “Then we heard a loud crunch. We all knew what it was. I heard the carriage driver admit it was his fault, but he wanted to move on and the DOT guy wanted him to stay. They were yelling at each other. There were passengers in the carriage, but no one appeared to be hurt. The car was bad,” she said. The NYPD called it, “minor damage.”

“They were still yelling at each other when we left,” the tipster continued. “I don’t know what happened to the passengers.”

“No one was hurt,” the NYPD confirmed. “And there was no injury to the horse. It resumed its normal duties.”

Update Wednesday, 9:45 a.m.: An animal advocacy organization, NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Liveable and Safe Streets) is calling for the horse in the above incident to be examined by a veterinarian, they announced in a press release. Executive Director Edita Birnkrant also renewed the organization’s call to end the use of horse and carriages in the city, contending,”The regularity of violent horse carriage crashes has become a tragic reality. Electric carriages don’t get spooked – but 2,000 pound horses in cities do – endangering themselves and everyone else around them. The City Council must end this madness and bring New York in line with other global cities by shifting to abuse-free, electric-powered alternatives that provide drivers with better paying jobs.”

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 49 comments | permalink
    1. joe_the_acct says:

      The horse carriages and the electric powered pedal cabs need to have side view mirrors as the drivers have zero visibility next to and behind them.

      Easy and cheap fix that would genuinely improve safety.

    2. Vincent says:

      Ban horse carriages, it’s animal abuse.

    3. ben says:

      Seriously just ban horse drawn carriages. All they contribute is the stench around CP.

    4. MARY ANNE GARDNER says:


      • GeorgeCPW says:

        The horse looks perfectly calm and unphased. Horses have been domesticated for generations. Your hearsay that their handlers are cruel is supported by no facts. Horses and carriages add charm to our city and encourage tourism. A more worthy concern would be help for homeless humans who suffer from mental illness and addiction. My guess is that those who want to ban horses and carriages have done nothing to help these fellow humans,

        • JM says:

          You would be wrong. Advocating for animals rights does not exclude us from advocating for human rights. All LIFE matters!

    5. Sb says:

      End this animal enslavement—let horses be horses as nature intended and while you’re at it end horse racing as well—ppl might think it’s quaint or something but to see them in the traffic or waiting patiently on CPS—enough is enough!

    6. SadforUWS says:

      I hate horse drawn carriages. I hate Sea World. I hate the circus. This is animal slavery and cruelty.

    7. Horsey says:

      To all the people that want to ban the horse carriages and ‘let horses be horses’, do you know what will happen to these and future horses if they are not in the park? They’ll be put down. Thousands of horses are out down every day because there is no where else for them to go. So whatever you think about them, someone is caring for them and giving them a life they otherwise wouldn’t have. Also, the horse was not hurt in this incident! Yet here we are, playing the animal cruelty card

    8. MARY ANNE GARDNER says:


    9. C says:

      The horses will not be put down if they end this idiotic “tradition”. If you did some research, you would find on the Humane Society website that they have a plan in place for the horses. It’s childish to assume they will all simply be killed. Also, The humans who are in charge of these horses are always always always on their phones. And I’m sure you’ve seen that they ignore the traffic lights like they aren’t even there. We are the best advocates for these horses, so if you see misconduct report it to 311. You can even text 311 at 311-692 and if you prefer to remain anonymous. according to the ASPCA a couple of years ago, the only people who can actually police them are mounted police. and when do we ever see the mounted police? I’m in the park all the time and never see them. We are the advocates for the horses and we can help end this.

    10. Darwin says:

      The carriage drivers & owners take good care of the horses: the horses are their livelihood. The horses would be sent to farms to work were they not here. Please worry about actual animal abuse & don’t buy from puppy mills. Please worry about your fellow humans in need as well.

    11. Isaac says:

      It’s completely ridiculous the City continues to allow these carriages to operate, they just cover Central Park with horse crap

    12. The Hmmm-er says:

      Re: “… NYCLASS is calling for the horse in the above incident to be examined by a veterinarian….”
      Hmmm#1: Wasn’t it NYCLASS that helped defeat Christine Quinn*, thus giving us Dee-Blah-Zio , who was promising (but NEVER followed through) to ban horse carriages?
      Hmmm#2: NYCLASS is again seeking publicity by calling for the horse to be examined by a veterinarian, deliberately ignoring the truth: the DOT car was struck by the carriage, NOT by the horse.
      *whose years as NYC City Council Speaker would have made her an excellent mayor

    13. It isn’t just about the horses. It is also about humans. Central Park below 72nd is just rotting in horse manure. It is impossible to run, bike or blade there without ending up coated in this stuff. This is insanity that this is still tolerated in city where people live, work and play in 2022.

      • Jim says:

        You must be a troll? Or else you literally never run in Central Park! I run every day below 72nd street and have literally never stepped in or been covered in horse manure 😂

    14. kracktow says:

      Ban the horse carriage rides! It’s animal abuse.

    15. Ira Gershenhorn says:

      Why was a Department of Transportation (DOT) car in Central Park? Can’t they bike in and park on the outside. Their lameness costs us money! Why don’t all DOT cars at least have bike racks on the back?

    16. JIMBO says:

      Ban DOT inspectors

    17. KateUWS says:

      How can we get rid of these carriages? They are terrible for so many reasons.

    18. Lacey says:

      Ban horse carriages! There is no excuse for this treatment of animals

    19. Emailie says:

      Whoever says these horse drawn carriages add charm and encourage tourism need to have their head examined…we don’t live in the “Gilded Age” anymore…

    20. Anne says:

      I get so tired of idiots protesting the horse carriages. They are well-cared for, and they are lovely in the park.
      I hope they get MORE horses is the park. They are beautiful and bring TRUE animal lovers like myself great pleasure.
      Get real.

      • Nancy says:

        Yes, horses ARE beautiful. And intelligent. And should not be pulling carriages endlessly in circles, especially in the heat. Let’s work together to end this cruel and unnatural practice.

      • Ashley says:

        True animal lovers don’t want horses on streets next to cars and buses.

    21. Steve Zorn says:

      Citing only the rabid anti-horse NYCLASS as a source is just silly. They pushed their agenda all through the DiBlasio administration with no success and are continuing a campaign of half-truths designed to deprive carriage drivers and horses of decent employment. Why not talk to Christina Hansen or some other carriage driver representative as well?

    22. Lanie says:

      From what I’ve read, Deblasio promised to get rid of the horses so that the land housing the stables could be developed by real estate interests, donors to Deblasio.
      As to the horse crap complaints, where are the complaints about dog crap all over the streets?

    23. RL says:

      i’d rather get rid of the damn pedi-cabs.They block up the lower loop on a weekend taking up the whole road – between the rental bikes, e-scooters (yes, lets put tourists on scooters too!(, pedicabs and horses its congestion central and gets quite dangerous.

    24. Paul of NYC says:

      Why is the DOT using flimsy cars that fall apart from what must be a slight bump?

      I thought all cars were banned in Central Park-they should be!

    25. Marsha Hargreaves says:

      Ban horse drawn carriages immediately. Antiquated, unnecessary and inhumane practice. Why is NYC still allowing horses pulling carriages full of people on their city streets??? Horses DO NOT BELONG on busy streets or anywhere near fast moving vehicles, crowds, noises and surprises (dogs, bicycles, buses, etc.). This is so unsafe and is blatant ANIMAL CRUELTY.

    26. chrisuws says:

      a little common sense here. to all the people yelling about the horses: would you like to adopt one into your two bedroom and feed it 3k in food a year? the horses come from Amish country once they can no longer work farms. the alternative is something much worse than working Central Park.

    27. Jim says:

      1. Why was a DOT car parked on a park drive?
      2. Horse manure is a great natural fertilizer, much needed in our parks.

    28. Christian says:

      I’ve done some reading, I’ve observed with my own eyes, consulted a friend who works with horses, and I’ve watched both sides’ propaganda videos. I’ve paid attention to the depth and tone of the comments. I’m with the carriage drivers.

    29. Mary A. says:

      Horse carriages in NYC MUST go, for several reasons, well-described previously. It’s years overdue. Tourists don’t need ‘quaint’ carriage rides to enjoy the parks. Neither do I feel for the carriage drivers (who in some photos appear not to be wearing anti-Covid masks, either). The horses will be MUCH happier and better housed Upstate. I agree that horse racing must go, as well, but I think that banning the carriage ride business can be accomplished NOW, as has been promised.

      • Boris says:

        You’re really worried because carriage drivers don’t wear masks outside? Please tell me this is sarcasm.

    30. Ella says:

      End the carriage horse industry already. It’s inhumane. The city should be ashamed.

    31. John Bonhomme says:

      Looks like a n awful lot of damage to car from a horse drawn carriage. Why not limit Carriage rides through Central Park. A section of Central South could be removed to allow carriage and horse access. Also a paddock could be built in that area to rest horses between rides. The entire road path encircling Central Park could be used for Horse and Carriage rides.

    32. Brunnhilde says:

      Oh please! Horses have pulled carriages for centuries! If you want to stop cruelty, stop the abuse on rodeo horses…That is unnatural. Pulling a carriage, farming a field, have been natural jobs for horses. Would you rather they be euthanized?

    33. Christine MacMurray says:

      I have been lobbying for for the elimination of horse-drawn carriages in NYC for decades. And now, another accident has taken place. Pulling carriages in heavy traffic in NYC is NOT what horses should be doing. It’s time for NYC to follow other enlightened cities and end this inappropriate way of using and abusing horses.