Nassau County Legislator Steve Rhoads is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Transportation to remove the clusters of huge, blue tourism signs that have been installed on highways in Nassau County and throughout the state. The clusters of up to 5 signs, ranging from approximately 5 feet to 100 feet apart, are placed in seemingly random locations on roadways within the state. The messages on the signs include “Taste NY,” “I Love NY,” “New York State Parks,” and “Path Through History.”
“Not only are the signs unattractive and distracting, the messaging on the signs is very confusing to drivers,” stated Legislator Rhoads. “I understand that the signs are meant to promote tourism, but they fail to direct a driver to a local attraction. Instead, the signs just list websites. Does NYS expect drivers to start surfing the internet while driving? The signs are absurd.”
“Additionally, the signs are not located near the state borders, so their purpose is particularly confusing because the viewer is already in New York State,” said Rhoads. Residents throughout Nassau County have been complaining about the signs on the Long Island Expressway, and the Meadowbrook and Wantagh Parkways. Legislator Rhoads noted that some municipalities have been successful in having the signs removed, such as Port Jefferson and Orient Point, and he hopes to be successful on behalf of all of Nassau County.
The Federal Highway Administration has deemed the signs to be illegal and in violation of both federal and state laws. The FHA has been warning NYS since 2014 not to erect the signs, and has threatened to cut funding for New York’s highway and bridge projects if the signage is not removed. Federal officials say the signs pose a dangerous distraction for motorists.
NYS has reportedly spent $1.76 million to erect the signs statewide. “The signs must be removed, and I will continue to call on Governor Cuomo until we succeed,” said Rhoads.