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Diner Politics 8/9: ‘I Love N.Y.’ signs

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On this week’s Diner Politics, we spoke to your neighbors at Lights Bakery & Coffee Shop about the fate over the hotly debated ‘I Love N.Y.’ signs. 

Watch the video to hear what they had to say, as well as some of our Facebook users!

The 500-plus tourism signs the state has installed from Long Island to Buffalo are at the center of a years-long standoff between the Federal Highway Administration and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The agency says the signs don’t meet regulations and pose a potential distraction to drivers traveling at high speeds, and it has demanded that the state remove them by Sept. 30 or lose $14 million in federal highway funding. New York’s transportation department, however, has said the signs don’t pose a safety risk and there’s no evidence they’ve directly contributed to any accidents.

After the first signs were installed, the program was expanded in 2016. Even before then, however, the Federal Highway Administration had told the state the signs didn’t comply with federal standards because they’re too big (sizes range from 6 feet-by-8 feet to as large as 10 feet-by-15 feet), contain too much information (website addresses are a particular no-no) and don’t provide any navigational information.

Despite the Federal Highway Administration’s warning, the Cuomo administration went ahead with the sign project, which cost state taxpayers more than $8 million. That comes out to about $15,500 to make and install each of the 514 signs, many of them posted along the 570-mile (917-kilometer), state-run New York Thruway system.

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