For over a century, horse-drawn carriages are already iconic fixtures in New York. But the Big Apple’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been on the crusade to place an end to the nostalgic rides, saying the carriages are cruel to the horses along with a common method to obtain traffic congestion.
Amid a simmering controversy, a possible replacement for the horses emerged Thursday at the The Big Apple Auto Show.
Jason Wenig, an automotive restoration expert and Brooklyn native, unveiled the Horseless eCarriage, battery power-powered creation that took six years to plan and build.
On display in the lobby of the Jacob Javits Center, the antique-looking vehicle are at once a throwback to an earlier era in automotive history and a model of current electric-car technology. It could carry eight passengers, reach a top speed of 30 miles per hour and travel about 100 miles on a single charge. The battery produces – no pun intended – 84 horsepower.
Perhaps most importantly, it seeks to retain the charm of the horse-drawn carriage.
I said to them, ‘If you’re going to do something, it’s got to be big, bold and daring,’ Wenig said of his first conversations about the car. If people are about to lose the brand they understand, this has got to fill that vacuum powerfully.
Not everyone is enamored using the idea. Traditionalists in the city say the carriages comprise a captivating part of the city’s fabric, and they oppose the mayor’s efforts to end the horse-drawn carriage era. So, do carriage operators, who depend on the rides with regard to their livelihoods.
A poll conducted by Quinnipiac University indicated that 64 percent of New Yorkers support the carriages pulled with the actual equines. Actor Liam Neeson has been a vocal opponent of the mayor, and wrote an editorial supporting continued use of the horses this week in The New York Times.
An entire life-style and a historic industry are under threat, he wrote. We should ask whether this is basically the New York we want to live in: a sanitized metropolis, where local color and grit are thrown out in support of sleek futuristic buildings and careening self-driving cars?
eCarriage was a project commissioned by NYCLASS, an animal-rights organization that is seeking more humane treatment of the horses. The group approached Wenig about six years ago to ask about the project, and as a native New Yorker an animal lover, it absolutely was a natural fit.
I am just an animal lover, therefore i understood where they were coming from, he said, although I’m not necessarily an activist. All of the sudden, I’m within the barn, seeking to hammer out steel.
Sixty-eight carriages will be needed to replace the current stable of horses. Although it took Wenig the last six months to put together the eCarriage prototype, he believes he could construct the entire fleet in a matter of months, should the project go forward. His current operation can be found in DaniaFlorida and Beach, but he says he may open another shop back in his hometown, to help you complete the project quickly.
If you haven’t done anything wrong, what do you have to hide, in a Google Hangout last week, de Blasio has said he expects to take action within the year.Perhaps you’ve heard this line from your police officer or some other person of authority, ? That would more likely be one of the many questions being asked by the Los Angeles Police Commission – the civilian oversight board in the Los Angeles Police Department – of the LAPD itself, after it was stated that officers had tampered with devices in police cruisers meant to record what they say.
The quick backstory: LAPD patrol cars are fitted with devices to videotape traffic stops and encounters, and officers wear transponders on his or her belts that capture audio and send it to the vehicle recorder via an antenna on the car. In summer 2013 an internal LAPD audit found that antennas on patrol cars ended up being removed. It lessens the range over which the system functions, even though doing this doesn’t disable the recorder.
After the investigation, Police Chief Charlie Beck told a then-recently-elected Police Commission member who’s now the commission president, Steve Soboroff, about the problem and mentioned that it had been resolved, with measures put in place to discourage future incidents. But it went no further than that until this February, when the Commission noticed poor quality recordings getting used in a shooting investigation; that’s when the oversight board was officially informed of the tampering.
Chief Beck, an assistant chief as well as 2 deputy chiefs publicly apologized to the Commission this week, proclaiming that the department fell short but that The department did not try and hide this matter. The policemen also defended their decision not to conduct an investigation, saying it would be futile since numerous officers will use an individual car through the day and there’d be no chance to figure out who removed the antennas.
The chiefs said they have developed new protocols to ensure there’s no more tampering, including officers documenting the inclusion of antennas at the beginning and end of each spot and shift checks by supervisors, but it isn’t clear how the situation is solved: one antenna has been found missing, and dozens of the transmitters worn by officers were found missing or damaged in just one single division.