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‘I Love NY’ Signs Removed Just Ahead of Federal Deadline

Nearly 85% of people surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that signs can “convey the personality or character of the business” they advertise. But can the same be true for the personality and character of an entire state? 

The famous “I Love NY” signs have been a staple of New York highways for decades, but all that is coming to an end this winter. 71% of people look at the messages on roadside advertising signs.

According to WCAX, after a long battle over the controversial statewide signage, the “I Love NY” signs have been removed entirely, just in time for the deadline that was set.

Under an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration, Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration stated that hundreds of the “I Love NY” tourism signs have been removed from the Thruway system and other highways across the state.

“The state would be better off directing the funds that they otherwise spent on this to other ways of promoting tourism throughout the state,” said Larry Cantwell, East Hampton supervisor.

The New York State Department of Transportation stated that the signs had to be removed entirely by November 21, in order for the state to retain $14 million in government highway funding.

The reasoning behind the removal of the signs was attributed to the fact that they weren’t in compliance, didn’t conform to federal standards, and were even dangerous because they contained too much information; causing drivers to become easily distracted.

New York officials, however, have long contented that the signs help promote tourism across the state and provide valuable information about the various attractions across New York.

Though the disputes have been going on for a while, and state officials have maintained the importance of the signs throughout the process, the “I Love NY” signage removal project first began in early November, commencing just before the deadline.