Dear Ms. Williams,

While your article about the projected loss of income to the tourism industry in Charleston does cover a number of businesses within the tourism industry, there are many other photos that would have been much more appropriate for the headline and are more representative of Charleston.

People do not come to Charleston for the carriage wagon rides and they never have.  They come for the rich history, the scenic lowcountry, the beaches, and a wide range of festivals, events, and activities. They come to see the architecture, the old homes and gardens, the churches, the plantations, the museums.  They visit the City Market, Patriots Point, Fort Sumter, the Exchange Building, the Slave Market. They walk along the Battery, stroll the streets stopping to peek through gates and looking for photo opportunities.  They enjoy a wide range of shopping and dining options.

The carriage wagon industry is a very controversial topic in Charleston and other cities throughout the country.  In Charleston, there has for many years been a concern for the well being of the equines, especially as they work in extremely high heat and humidity pulling full loads of passenegers for multiple trips a day during a 5 month period starting in May. With ongoing construction, increased traffic, and the natural instinct of horses to run when spooked, the horses/mules and the public face a daily risk. On December 27, 2019 a runaway carriage wagon in the City Market, hit 2 vehicles with passengers and a parked vehicle.  Injuries to the people in those vehicles has not been made public. In January 2020 and again in February 2020, parked vehicles were damaged by wagons with horses spooked by construction trucks and noises. And, most recently, after the mayor had emphasized the need for social distancing, the wagons were running last weekend, Monday, and Tuesday with 16 passengers packed side by side. An unnecessary risk to public safety as we face an unprecedented health crisis and pandemic.

So, if your article is updated and run again, please change the accompanying photo to something that truly represents Charleston and keep that in mind for future articles you write.