Evanston’s Human Services Committee is scheduled Monday to consider an ordinance that would ban operation of horse-drawn carriages in the city.

A city staff memo says the ordinance is intended “to address community concerns related to traffic congestion and animal welfare.”

Efforts by animal rights activists to ban horse drawn carriages in New York and Chicago have so far been unsuccessful, although Chicago adopted regulations in 2011 banning the carriages from operating when the temperature is above 90 degrees or below 15 degrees and setting a variety of other regulatory standards.

Fans of carriage rides have argued that regulatory schemes like Chicago’s can meet the horses’ needs while still offering people what’s seen as a romantic tradition.

(Evanston recently opted to regulate transportation network providers, also known as ride-hailing services, by requiring that operators here be licensed under Chicago’s regulatory scheme for such services.)

At least three companies — Antique Coach & CarriageChicago Horse & Carriage and Great Lakes Horse & Carriage — currently operate horse-drawn carriage rides in downtown Chicago.

While no carriage ride firms are believed to offer regular service in Evanston, some of the Chicago-based firms, and others located outside the city, offer custom rides for weddings and other events that could be held in Evanston.

The proposed Evanston ordinance would have limited exceptions for “parades and public celebrations,” which it does not further define, and would permit use of horse-drawn carriages in parks if a permit were obtained from the Parks Department.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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    1. Horse Drawn Carriages.
      I would submit that it could be hazardous to allow commercially flown spaceships to Mars from the confines of ones backyard. I know we don’t have any in existence yet but we should be out in front of this problem before it arrives. Maybe the city staff who comes up with all these ideas, i. e., ban the Talmadge lights, yet are never named nor were they elected yet seem bent on making their presence felt can solve this non-existent problem.

      1. Human Services
        This department of city government will be very busy taxing their noggins on how to ban horses and citizens that utilize the taxi cab program because it has become a subsidized burden and a costly service for the elderly. I would think that the expense of issuing a $75.00 per month debit card would be excessive for a senior and for the city to implement. Has anyone from the Department on Age Control been consulted. Was extending the service to other suburbs considered? Or consideration of the cost of paying a parking ticket to visit a doctor’s office in Evanston against the fee of a taxi ride. Would a debit card be cost effective (as opposed to cash) I would hope that each member would think very thoughtfully on the impact of banning the taxi program or decreasing its value in human service to the citizens that depend on it. Also, how thought provoking is it to be equitable and can Evanston afford all the services it provides for a senior or the disabled that has no other means of transportation, i.e. a bus does not stop on every corner, nor is there a mail drop box.

    2. Nope

      Ordinance would ban any sort of animal-powered or animal-power-assisted vehicle. So no hamster wheels on the street either.



  1. A Stupid Idea

    Why on earth would anyone want to allow horse drawn carriages in Evanston parks?  You already have to dodge crazed spandex clad bikers and ubiquitous goose/duck/dog poop.  Does anyone ever really look anything but stupid in one of those carriages unless it’s in a proper setting (out in the country)?  The treatment of the horses has been shown to be abyssmal in the past and I doubt if any of the current city council members will be motivated to ensure they are well cared for.  Is this really needed?

    1. Re: A stupid idea

      You must have seen the Hateful Eight to many times. How often does a child in an urban setting get the opportunity to see a magnificent animal like a horse?

  2. A shame.

    This is such a shame. The horse-drawn carriages would pair so nicely with the Tallmadge lights. 

    1. There seems to be a lot of horsing around

      There seems to be a lot of horsing around lately. First some bright spark goes on about our lights, now someone thinks these animals are un-stable. I think somebody needs to rein in city officials.

  3. Your Government hard at work

    So nobody has proposed (as far as I know) bringing horse drawn carriages to Evanston but someone had to justify the existense of their job, so now we have a topic that will allow the city to hire consulting firms and attorneys to advise city council on how to draft this ordinance.  How much will this cost us taxpayers and who do we make the check payable to?

  4. Three felonies a day…
    It is the mystery of inner workings of a statist mind…

    The same people who would want to legalize all sorts of harmful drugs would prohibit a wo/it/man from riding on an animal into Evanston…

    And what about rickshaws? Are those allowed? Is human welfare above or below horse’s?

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