Rookverbod New York jaagt paarden weg

Het feit dat rokers in New York nu buiten de restaurants moeten gaan roken heeft een bijzonder effect opgeleverd op de paardenkoetsen van Central Park. Deze koetsen parkeerden enige tijd vóór het Tavern Restaurant voordat ze nieuwe passagiers oppikten.

Sinds kort prijkt op de gevel van het restaurant een bord dat aangeeft dat paardenkoetsen niet meer zijn toegestaan. De voermannen zijn woest, dit mocht altijd. Wat is de reden?

Het lijkt een ironisch gevolg van het rookverbod in de stad. Restaurantbezoekers die buiten moesten gaan roken beklaagden zich over de stank van de paarden. Het restaurant lijkt zich deze klachten te hebben aangetrokken….

HORSE-DRAWN carriages, the beloved icon of Central Park’s Tavern on the Green, can now get $250 tickets for standing in front of the venerable restaurant.

A “No Standing Anytime” sign went up outside the eatery June 16, and Parks Department officers are regularly patrolling the site, shooing empty carriages away.

“It’s new,” said an officer enforcing the rule yesterday. “They can’t stay here.”

Carriage drivers say the ban makes no horse sense, explaining that they have to circle back to Central Park South once they drop off passengers at the restaurant instead of waiting the five or 10 minutes it usually takes to pick up another group.

“It’s not fair. We used to work here. You can’t imagine Tavern on the Green without the carriages,” said Recep Poyraz, 25, a driver for three years.

It’s not clear what’s behind the carriage ban. Drivers blame the restaurant, but Tavern managers say they’re not to blame.

And when you ask the city, officials say it’s always been illegal for carriages to stand outside the restaurant – contending a previous “No Standing” sign must have been removed or fallen down.

“Carriage drivers can pick up and drop off passengers – they just can’t stand there waiting,” said Parks Department spokeswoman Megan Sheekey. “It causes traffic bottlenecks.”

Nonsense, say longtime carriage drivers.

“This was always a legitimate stand with three carriage spaces,” said veteran driver Virginia Grassi. “We belong here. We’re the main attraction in the restaurant gift shop.”

Indeed, Tavern on the Green’s house T-shirts and baseball caps are emblazoned with a horse-and-carriage sketch.

“It’s a stupid rule. As a tourist, you expect to have lunch and take a carriage ride. It’s just common knowledge this is where you get picked up,” said Donna Dorazio, 35, of Waynesburg, Pa.

Drivers say they believe Tavern’s management spurred the move because the city’s no-smoking ban means more customers are going outside to light up.

“I hear there were complaints about the smell,” one driver said.

“The further they’re away, the better. It’s nice to smell horses if you’re on a farm. But we’re not on a farm,” said restaurant patron John McGrath, 65, of Brielle, N.J.

Tavern manager Michael Desiderio says his restaurant is caught in the middle.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with Tavern on the Green,” Desiderio said. “We’ve had a good relationship with the park as well as the drivers. It’s a very sticky situation for us.” 

Bron: NY Daily News

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