Locals react to proposed replacement for horse-drawn carriages in NYC

Locals react to proposed replacement for horse-drawn carriages in NYC

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Horse-drawn carriages are still at the center of controversy nearly three weeks after runaway horses crashed in Savannah and right here in Charleston.

This week an antique style, fully electric horseless carriage will be debuted at the New York International Auto Show as an option to replace them in New York City.

The design is getting mixed reviews here in Charleston.

"I don't think we should do this. They should definitely keep the horses in the South," said Alisa Yelton and Caitlyn Sturgis.

It was an immediate "no" at the first site of the proposed electric horseless carriage.

"Horses and Charleston, they go together," said Sturgis.

New York City has been in an on-going battle over what to do with horse-drawn carriages.

Just two weeks ago a horse went racing down a street in downtown Charleston and crashed into a wall at the city market.

Market vendor Catherine Lowe said, "We should definitely try the antique style cars."

Lowe has a booth at the market near the wall where the horse collided.

"Ever since I started my job here, we've been told stories about looking out for spooked horses and being on your toes to get out of the way and be ready for that to happen," said Lowe.

Lowe says it's too risky for the animals and people when the horses are on the street.

"I know it's really good for tourism to have something out here and wouldn't want anything to suffer in Charleston," said Lowe.

Lowe thinks electric and horse-drawn carriages could both work downtown.

Lowe said "Maybe we should integrate that and take out half the horse and carriage tours and try maybe half the cars and see if people don't respond well to it."

More than half a million people took a carriage tour last year through downtown Charleston.

Bryan Grigalonis said, "Unfortunately, I hate to say it, but it's what makes profit. If it's going to be more expensive, I'm pretty sure that the horse piece is going to stay in and I think it's going to continue to operate here in Charleston."

According to the city of Charleston as of last month more than 62,000 people have taken a carriage ride this year.?

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