A couple weekends ago an unfamiliar clip-clop echoed along the main drag in University City. Michael Hobbs, proprietor of the fondue shop The Melting Pot, paid to bring a horse-drawn carriage to the Delmar Loop.
The buggy rides cost $25 for fifteen minutes and up to $85 for an hour. They were manned (and horsed) by Brookdale Farms in Eureka, the same folks who operate the carriages downtown and on the Landing. They ran from Kingsland at the west end of the Loop to East Gate in the other direction.
In an interview with the Post-Dispatch
, Hobbs dubbed the two-night experiment a success and said the carriages would likely return later in the summer.
But not everyone is on board with the idea. Take this couple who e-mailed the RFT earlier this week:
Please register our firm opposition to the introduction of horse-drawn carriages into the Delmar Loop. Horses are not designed to haul carriages through streets clogged with bikers, pedestrians, cars, buses, and emergency vehicles.
In addition, horse-drawn carriages pose a grave danger to public safety. Some 50 hansom cab accidents in New York City alone have injured or killed both people and horses.
We respectfully urge University City business owners to insist that horse-drawn carriages not be introduced into the Delmar Loop. Thank you for your kind consideration.
Mr. and Mrs. Sean O'Neil
There are a few other possible points of contention here.
The always level-headed (ahem) commenters at stltoday.com had a field day
with this topic a few weeks back.
Their qualms included the impact a plodding horse would have on the already jammed traffic on Delmar, the gentrified vibe it might give to the historically gritty strip of bars and shops, and the fact that sucking down car exhaust all night isn't exactly what mother nature intended for a pony.
They probably also could have added: "...and what about the steaming piles of manure?"