We received a tip today from Merry Orling about yet another horse carriage collision, this time with a bus in midtown, that she witnessed this week:

A horse wearing blinders and pulling a carriage was hit by a NYC bus in midtown Manhattan at rush hour. The incident occurred on 7th Avenue at around 54th Street at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. The horse, grazed by the bus, was spooked and evidently frightened out of his/her wits. After exchanging info - maybe regarding insurance claims, the drivers resumed travel downtown. I was amazed (and saddened) by the behavior of the carriage driver: He did not even bother to check the condition of his horse, nor did he offer any comfort to the animal, who looked much the worse for wear.

What on earth is a horse doing in rush hour traffic in midtown Manhattan?

I recently returned to the US after living abroad for many years. I can't believe the city has sunk so low! I'd like to know what the mayor is waiting for to ban horse-drawn carriages, which are cruel, unnecessary, and dangerous.

According to Elizabeth Forel, of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, horse drawn carriages are not allowed between 57th St. and 42 St., and between 7th and 9th avenues before 11:30 p.m. at night. She told us: "The law is very clear on this -- WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS A PASSENGER. The ASPCA has told me that they will ONLY give a ticket if the driver has a passenger. This is also not a direct route back to the stable. That would be three blocks west on 9th Avenue. The ASPCA is making up their own interpretation of the law favoring the drivers." The City Council passed legislation earlier this year to improve conditions for horses, including five weeks vacation in the country, but many are still unsatisfied with the cosmetic improvements, and are angered that the horse carriage industry still even exists in NYC.