The “I Love New York” highway signs along the state’s highways have been deemed an unsafe distraction for drivers.
Federal transportation officials have decided that the signs, which were originally installed in 2013, are illegal. The amount of information contained in their messaging is considered a distracting hazard.
Unfortunately, the millions that were already spent in their installation are forfeit. But that loss pales in comparison to the roughly $14 million in ongoing federal funding that the state would have had to give up to keep them.
Each sign cost roughly $15,000, and the total investment by the state was over $8 million. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration spokesman Doug Hecox says they “do not conform to federal rules.”
The administration also claims that New York state knew the signs were in violation before they were even installed. Asked whether New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was aware beforehand, Hecox responded simply “Yes.”
Cuomo actively promoted the signs, which direct drivers to the state website. He had said that “the goal is to get people who are on the roads off the roads and into communities and fostering and promoting the economy of the State of New York.” Now, he is leading what Hecox called a “good faith effort” to take them all down again.
According to Newsday, removal of the signs will begin “next month.”