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'I Love NY' signs coming down?

October 06, 2017 06:04 PM

ROCHESTER — Those “I Love NY” signs that Governor Cuomo had installed up and down our highways may soon be coming down. The state has spent more than $8 million building and installing the blue signs over the last 4 years.

The signs have the “I Love NY” logo on them and tell drivers there’s an attraction at the next exit. Almost as soon as they started going up, the federal government said they needed to come down because they fail to meet federal safety standards. For more than a year now, the state has been ignoring threats from the Federal Highway Administration that highway funding will be pulled if signs don’t come down.

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On Friday, during a stop in Rochester, News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke asked Governor Cuomo about the issue.

Jennifer Lewke (News10NBC): "There's been a lot of back and forth between the state and the feds over your 'I Love NY' signs, what's the latest with those, are they coming down, are they staying up?"
Governor Cuomo: "They were up last time I checked and they've been up for a few years now. So, it's almost time to change them I think but they've been highly, highly, highly effective. We’ve advertised “I Love NY” all across the state and tourism is a very, very big business for us -- increasing tourism is a big business for us. Here in this region, tourism is up about 15 percent; it’s now a 64 billion dollar industry. We had a hidden little secret called upstate New York that nobody told anybody about, nobody told anybody about the Finger Lakes. So, that’s what the “I Love NY” campaign is all about. Tourism is money, is jobs and that’s what we want in Upstate NY and it’s worked great."

Jennifer Lewke: "But, you're saying they're coming down?"
Governor Cuomo: "No."
Jennifer Lewke: "You said it’s time to replace them?"
Governor Cuomo: "I'm saying they are up, they have been up for years. We have no resolution with the federal government but they have been up so long that it's almost time to come up with a new campaign."

The Federal Highway Administration says the signs are too cluttered and distracting and violation federal regulations. In a statement to News10NBC, a spokesman for the administration says, “The FHWA believes the state is attempting to make good on its promises to remove these signs but is considering additional actions if necessary.”

The signs cost taxpayer more than $8 million and they’ve been up for less than four years. The average life span of a traffic sign is ten years.

Credits

Jennifer Lewke

Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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