De Blasio’s whip hand: A new plan to drive carriage horses out of town

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Mayor de Blasio is back in the saddle on a crazy crusade he pledged would be won on Day One. Yes, the push to extinguish Central Park horse carriages and their 200-plus good union jobs is baaaack.

This time, rather than a gallop toward extinction, Hizzoner is offering what on its face sounds like a modest change to the way the tiny industry does business: an administrative rule to move where the 68 historic carriages can pick up and drop off fares.

No more will the hack line along Central Park South be used, as it has since the Park was first built 160 years ago. They’ll move instead to designated locations inside the park.

No big deal, right? Neigh. This is a slow walk to the glue factory.

Brief refresher: Fueled in his zealotry by major political and financial support from the carriage-banning NYCLASS group, de Blasio failed in 2014 to get the City Council to kill the trade.

In 2016, he tried again, with a more subtle approach to close down the horses’ West Side stables in exchange for a never-to-be-built facility in the middle of the park.

This time, a simple executive action would wipe away the parking spaces for the carriages.

But for this industry, visibility is oxygen. Replacement locations would likely starve the carriages of the steady flow of customers, a majority of whom now are walk-up fares.

And what’s even the theoretical benefit for the horses, whose treatment already rivals that of any Westminster dog, and who’d still be traveling back and forth from their stables and still be permitted to travel on city streets?

Nada. This is is about fulfilling a political promise — putting the you-know-what before the you-know-what.

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