Federal Highway Administration says NY tourism signs break federal law

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Federal Highway Administration confirmed to NEWS10 ABC the “New York State Experience” signs along state highways violate federal and state law.

Kyle Marshall said it’s impossible to read through all of the information on the tourism signs while driving.

“I could definitely never read through all those signs and still be a safe driver,” he said.

The New York State Department of Transportation began putting up the signs along major highways a few years ago. Many are clustered in groups about 100 ft. away from one another. All include an ad for the ILoveNY app and website among other words and images.

Marshall said they’re cluttered and don’t stand out.

“If they condensed it a little bit I guess it wouldn’t be so bad,” he said.

The Federal Highway Administration says the signs are illegal, and it has been warning Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration for three years.

A spokesperson told NEWS10 the signs don’t follow the national guidelines:

Some of the signs have non-conforming symbols while others violate sign lettering and other standards…Our position is that simple signs that are easy to read make for safer journeys.

NYSDOT, however, defended its actions. It said the following in a statement:

These signs, which follow standard specifications, promote tourism, and we believe are in full compliance with federal law.

As for Marshall, he feels there should be some change.

“I like to keep very focused when I’m driving, so I mean, obviously, eliminate all the things you can to distract people and you save a couple lives,” he said. “That’s all that matters.”

Both organizations told NEWS10 they will continue to work with one another to address the matter.

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