File this one under “and we wonder why businesses leave New York.”

A business owner in Syracuse alerted us to the fact that the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) recently made two requirements of the company:

  • The sign on their building, which was 3 ft by 10 ft and faced the NYS Thruway, was too big and needed to be taken down and replaced by one that was 4 ft by 1.5 ft.  Please keep in mind that the sign is blocked by trees and thus not in full view except in the winter and spring
  • The company then needed to pay NYSTA $50 to have the sign inspected and an additional $20 per year to have the sign on the building

NYS Thruway

Now, that may not seem like a big deal to many readers.  After all, it is only $70 and the company still gets to have a sign up.  And perhaps you’d be right.  However, here is the big kicker…the pinnacle of an authority overreaching…the building in question is OWNED by the company.  Yes, that’s right.  The NYSTA REQUIRED that a company could not have affix a sign to the building that it OWNS.

Now, come to find out that Section 361-A of the Public Authority Law and Part 105 of the Rules and Regulations of the Thruway Authority prohibit on premises advertising devices within 660 ft of a right of any portion of the Thruway system without a permit granted by the Authority.  And I can understand why they have the rule.  They are concerned about what may be on the advertising device and if it is appropriate.  But a company that is simply using their own building to advertise their company, a lighting company to boot, is an overreach.

It is time for the NYSTA to take a look at this section of law and rewrite it to be fair and responsible.  And they should not charge a company, if they own the building, to advertise.  That is somehow…just so wrong.