CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing some changes in the way horse-drawn carriages operate in the city which may put the creatures in the same position as many people these days: they might have to work more.
One proposal is to shift the official operations temperature gauge to the lakefront's Northerly Island from O'Hare International Airport.
That change figures to give a warmer reading in the winter and a cooler one in the summer, thus allowing more days the carriages can operate.
The carriages, which tend to operate on the Gold Coast around Water Tower Place, are banned from use when the temperature is 15 degrees and under, or the wind chill is zero, or when the temperature is above 90 degrees and above.
The operators may end up having to put in a few more hours — not just behind the reins but behind the books, as well.
Under that proposal, to be introduced at Wednesday's City Council meeting, carriage chauffeurs will have to pass an exam on street geography and carriage regulations. That plan carries a $25 annual fee.
Carriages will also be required to maintain sufficient insurance.
The proposals represent the first significant changes to city regulations on horse-drawn carriages since the '80s.
The mayor was to submit the ordinance during Wednesday's City Council meeting, which should put it on a schedule to pass next month if it avoids any snags.