The PJ Tatler

City That Bans Basically Everything Now Upset Because Obama Admin Wants to Ban Times Square Signs

The city that regulates and taxes basically everything — and bans what isn’t taxed and regulated — is upset because the Obama administration has told them to remove billboards in iconic Times Square or face a $90 million loss in federal funding.

According to CBS New York:

The feds say many of Times Square’s huge and neon-lit billboards must come down or the city will lose about $90 million in federal highway money. The edict comes from a 2012 law that makes Times Square an arterial route to the national highway system. And that puts it under the 1965 Highway Beautification Act, which limits signs to 1,200 square feet. It took the feds until now to realize that Times Square was included, Kramer reported.

Flushing resident Kevin Watson was upset to hear that signs might disappear:  “We’re going to let outsiders who sit in a cramped room that have nothing to do with our city as far as partaking in it on an everyday basis change something that means something to the entire world?” said Watson. “That makes total sense, just like everything else the federal government does,” he said sarcastically.

City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told CBS New York that the signs will stay.

“We’re not going to be taking down the billboards in Times Square. We’re going to work with the federal government and the state and find a solution,” Trottenberg said.

“The signs in Times Square are wonderful. They’re iconic. They’re not only a global tourist attraction, they’re important to the economy,” Trottenberg said.

The outrage is adorable, considering all the things New York City banned just during Michael Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure as mayor. From Gizmodo:

This fight with the Obama administration is some sort of bureaucratic karma, if you ask me.  I say any city that oozes government control out of every pore and sidewalk crack — and that voted in overwhelming numbers for President Obama (twice) — ought to quit whining and welcome its federal overlords with open arms. 



* Overruled/appealed ban
** Suggested/voluntary ban
*** Proposed/pending ban