NEW YORK — A political battle is raging here over an iconic mode of transportation you might have used if you visited the city this winter: not the subway or yellow cabs, but Central Park’s horse-drawn carriages.
The fight centers on whether to ban the carriages out of concern for the horses’ welfare. But it has the trappings of a good old-fashioned political brawl: a well-funded network of activists, a powerful union, ambitious mayoral candidates and prime Manhattan real estate.
The strife has been building for a few years, and animal rights activists claimed a major victory in November when their ally, Democrat Bill de Blasio, won the mayoral election, thanks in part to the activists’ attacks on his primary opponent, Christine Quinn.
It’s unclear how aggressively de Blasio will pursue the carriage ban once he takes office in the new year. For now, the activists, aided…
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