Days ahead of a deadline that would have cut millions in funding, the state has reached an agreement with the federal government on the “I Love New York” signs.
The two sides had been in conflict over the signs. The Federal Highway Administration said the signs were illegal and needed to come down before the end of September.
if the state didn’t remove the signs, the FHA threatened to take away $14 million in funding.
In a Friday evening release, the state says it has reached an agreement, just two days ahead of the deadline, to keep the federal funding intact.
State DOT officials write: “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. 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.”
Further details on the new project were not released.
The state adds: “As the ‘I Love New York,’ ‘Taste of New York,’ ‘Pathways Through History,’ signage campaigns have run for approximately 5 years, the state will be designing a new advertisement campaign which will be profiled in various media outlets, as well as, easy to download apps that will coordinate with road signage. Regional introductory signs — referred to as motherboards — and follow up specific attraction signs will be part of the effort.
“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.”