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Big Apple’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been on a crusade to put an end to the nostalgic rides

For more than a century, horse-drawn carriages have been iconic fixtures in New York City. But the Big Apple's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been on a crusade to put an end to the nostalgic rides, saying the carriages are cruel to the horses and a common source of traffic congestion.

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In his dozen years in office, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did his best to cut down on traffic congestion and spearheaded the conversion of the city's taxi fleet to hybrids. But his successor is out to eliminate another kind of vehicle – the horse-drawn carriage – from the streets of Manhattan.

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In the right weather and with the right person, riding in a horse-drawn carriage around Central Park can be romantic... if a little corny. Of course, it can also be a bit odorous and, for those on foot who have to deal with the horse by-product, messy. It's not just joggers and bikers who object to the city horses; animal welfare groups have long worried about the poor working conditions. Not only do the animals spend their days shuffling along on hard pavement through slow-moving traffic while

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2011 BMW X3 prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Formula One impresario Bernie Ecclestone has made no secret of his desire to see his series make a stop in the Big Apple – Manhattan, in point of fact. To that end, our friends at 0-60 thought they'd help him out by drawing up a suggested courses – in fact, in an oddly prescient move, they had already done so, publishing the fantasy circuits in the pages of their Winter 2008 issue.

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