ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo yielded to the federal authorities Friday and introduced plans to exchange the controversial “I Love NY” highway indicators that threatened to value taxpayers a $14 million penalty.
Cuomo administration officers mentioned the signal marketing campaign had run “its helpful course” and will probably be changed by new tourism initiative in time for the summer time season.
“Present supplies will probably be reused however, because the indicators will probably be redesigned for the brand new marketing campaign, we’ll seek the advice of with (federal freeway officers) throughout this course of,” Appearing Transportation Commissioner Paul Karas and Thruway Authority Director Matthew Driscoll mentioned in a joint assertion.
The assertion got here a day after the Federal Freeway Administration notified the Cuomo administration that it was withholding $14 million in funding due to the greater than 500 indicators, which federal officers claimed had been an pointless distraction to drivers and created security hazards.
Federal officers gave the state till Sept. 30 to take away the indicators or forfeit the cash.
Karas and Driscoll mentioned the indicators would get replaced by the federal deadline.
The assertion marked a stark turnabout for the Cuomo administration, which had steadfastly refused to take away the indicators and rejected repeated federal complaints they supplied little helpful data to motorists and used fonts and graphics that transcend what’s allowed underneath federal and state regulation.
Cuomo introduced plans to put in the indicators alongside the Thruway and different roadways in January of 2014 – months after the federal authorities had already rejected a request to take action.
Of their assertion, Karas and Driscoll mentioned the indicators had boosted the state’s tourism business.
“Because the Governor initiated this branding effort, the variety of vacationers to New York State has elevated by 18 % and the direct financial influence of tourism on the State has skyrocketed by greater than 20%,” they wrote.