New York State DOT, Federal Highway Administration reach agreement on highway signs

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The Federal Highway Administration will restore funding to the New York State Department of Transportation following an agreement between the agencies on controversial “I Love New York” highway signs. 

A Friday press release from the NYSDOT said the state will be designing a new advertisement campaign and apps that will coordinate with road signage. 

“We have reached an agreement to launch an innovative experimental project to allow tourism signage to highlight cultural, historic, and other significant state attractions off the highway system,” the DOT announced. “This is a win-win for all parties and we thank our federal counterparts for their cooperation. We will submit a final plan on this new project in the coming months.” 

New York State was given until Sept. 30 to remove 500 signs from highways, or lose $14 million in federal funding for 2018.

As a result of the agreement, the Federal Highway Administration is terminating an initial penalty and restoring 2018 funding. 

“Federal Highway Administration and NYSDOT have reached an agreement on a path forward to resolve this matter. Based on NYSDOT’s written commitment to achieve compliance, FHWA is terminating the initial penalty and restoring the FY2018 funds.” -Federal Highway Administration spokesperson

TATEMENT FROM NYS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER PAUL KARAS & NYS THRUWAY AUTHORITY DIRECTOR MATTHEW DRISCOLL

“The New York State Department of Transportation and the Thruway Authority have been working with the Federal Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration on New York’s road signage tourism campaign.  The campaign has been in place for approximately five years and has been highly successful.  The Federal Highway Administration regulates signage on Federal Highways.  We are pleased that our Federal partners understand our efforts to make this state more attractive and accessible to the traveling public and that they will work with the state to review our efforts and evaluate the impact on the traveling public.

“Accordingly,  

“As the “I Love New York,” “Taste of New York,” “Pathways Through History,” signage  campaigns have run for approximately 5 years,

“The state’s tourism effort has been a tremendous economic success and has driven tourism to record highs and is now an over $100 billion industry providing approximately 1 million jobs.  We will coordinate with our Federal counterparts once we have more details on this new effort and we will announce the campaign as soon as it is completed. This agreement resolves the preexisting matter between the state and the federal government and the state will continue to receive all federal highway aid.”

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