After a a four year battle between the Cuomo Administration and the Federal Highway Administration, the State Department of Transportation has completed the process of removing a series of controversial tourism signs from highways statewide.
Back in 2014, the state put up the series of signs, consisting of a main “I Love NY” tourism sign (known as a motherboard) and a quick succession of smaller signs promoting various New York industries. They went up on the Thruway and all other major highways despite a warning from the federal government that the signs did not comply with federal highway standards. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) said that the signs had too many words on them and would be distracting to drivers, leading them to ban the state from putting them up.
The state DOT installed the signs at a cost of $8 million, despite the federal ban. After a protracted war of words, the Feds issued a warning to the State in February that they would withhold $14 million in federal funding if the State didn’t remove the signs by Sept. 30. Just two days before that deadline, the two sides reached a deal where the motherboard signs could stay put, but the smaller signs would be moved to state parks and rest stops. That process was completed shortly before Thanksgiving, ending a costly four year battle.
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