Donald J. Trump Highway Beautification Sign Disappears

This is what it looks like. If you see it let us know! Photo by Adam Fagen.

By Carol Tannenhauser

West Side Rag readers are so vigilant they don’t only see what is there, but what is not there — like the Donald J. Trump highway beautification sign on the West Side Highway heading south.

“Just drove down the Westside Highway and to my delight saw no sign before the exit touting highway beautification courtesy of DJT,” wrote one reader. “Several times, I’ve noticed spray painting obstruction of the sign, and last week, did not see the sign. But tonight neither my friend nor I saw it!”

Another reader likewise noticed its absence. “On West Side Highway, heading south. At 79th St exit…there used to be a large Blue and White TRUMP sign…Today I noticed its GONE! YAY.”

Was it a sign — well, clearly, it was a sign — but was it material proof that DJT has left New York City for good? Or had the Trump organization simply neglected to pay the bill? After a bit of ping ponging between the city and state about which was responsible for the sign, a spokesperson for the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) wrote:

“The sign was removed after a vandalism incident and will be replaced soon.”

This defacement must have been a doozy — the sign was vandalized before, but didn’t (to our knowledge) require removal to restore.

So, keep your eyes peeled, readers, and keep us posted. One reader wrote that she hopes she’ll continue to see nothing.

“I am hoping it is permanently uprooted and gone—a metaphor for our UWS, NYC, USA, and the world. Best as always, and a healthy Thanksgiving!”

If you would like to “Adopt-A-Highway,” here’s the NYC link.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 65 comments | permalink
    1. Mark says:

      Would it be possible for donald trump himself to disappear? Asking for friends.

      • David says:

        Would it be possible, instead, for YOU, to disappear??! President Trump has set the country on the right course, and accomplished many good things. Can you list any good things that YOU have accomplished?? I doubt it!

        • Sarah says:

          If you get up in the morning, have your coffee, and don’t take any toddlers away from their parents to put in cages, you’ve outperformed the soon-to-be-former president.

          • drew says:

            Dearest Sarah,
            In case you forgot, let me remind you.
            It was Obama who first initiated the kids separation from parents, and it was the Obama regime that built the same cages, and put the kids in them in 2014.
            Same cages the Trump regime used.
            Give credit where credit is due.
            It was Obama first.
            Trump second.

        • Mark Moore says:

          Yes he’s put us on the course of tens of millions of people not trusting legitimate election results unless he wins, what a great guy.

        • Steve Downey says:

          One word for you, David – Florida.

        • Chrigid says:

          I can’t speak for Mark, but I pay my bills.

        • John E. says:

          David, you’re defending a President who cost this country trillions of dollars, millions of jobs and thousands of lives. He wrecked this country and your city because of his negligence and incompetence. It’s embarrassing that people like you voted for him AGAIN!

          But I do wish a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family…

        • Janis Brodie says:

          David, Whatever good Pres Trump did(please state) is overwhelmed by the divisiveness and anger he fostered and continues to incite which has resulted in unprecedented hatred and anger and now an uptick in violence.

          • Boris says:

            But didn’t the divisiveness, hatred, and anger start before Trump was sworn in and did anything? It just continued for the next 4 years because it had already been started and people weren’t willing to let it go.

        • John E. says:

          Hey David, how about you listing the “many good things” Trump accomplished? I would love to see that list!

        • Nancy says:

          Can you list the things Trump has accomplished. And don’t say the economy. Obama saved that. Or can’t you remember. Trump has successfully divided this country and is leaving 10 million out of work and 260,000 dead from a virus he did nothing about.

      • Judith says:

        Most excellent idea, Mark!!

    2. Mark D. Friedman says:

      I’m surprised it took so long.

    3. rteplow says:

      If the organization actually did pay for this, then they do deserve a sign, though some might argue that the sign itself is a defacement.

    4. J. EHRLICH says:

      Funny …. I have never seen him out here beautifying!!!

    5. Robert says:

      Like trump or not at least he is putting his $$$ where his mouth is to do a small amount to keep the Highway cleaner. I’m still waiting for the Nadler, Rosenthal or O’Donnell How about a de balz sign or Cuomo?
      Perhaps rather than spending all the time/effort/$$$ in useless NIMBY UWS BS they could step up and help covers the cost

      • Jan. 20 Can't Come Soon Enough! says:

        If he put his money where his mouth is, it might be a first for him. Trump excelled at using other people’s money in his businesses and it bled into his charitable work. The amount of money he put into his foundation was a pittance. He took contributions to his foundation from others but claimed the works of the foundation as his own largess. In other words, philathropic plagerism.

      • David says:

        BRAVO! A very good point!

      • Mark Moore says:

        While he wants to deny NYC federal highway funds because we’re a made up “anarchic jurisdiction?” Puh-leeeeze.

    6. EdNY says:

      Correction: the sign was just north of the 79th Street SB exit, not in the 60’s.

    7. Richard Robbins says:

      NYC DOT’s own policy as per its website ( is that “Highways can be adopted by individuals, companies, or organizations (but not political candidates and campaigns).” This sign should have been removed in 2015 and, according to DOT’s policy should not be replaced now, especially as Trump has stated an intention to run again in 2024.

      DOT needs to explain to the UWS why it has violated its own policy and allowed this eyesore to remain.

    8. Robin says:

      Seeing that sign as I approached the 79th St ramp coupled with the stench several minutes before that, always feels like a most unwelcome homecoming🥴

    9. Robert Ross says:

      The Adopt-A-Highway program for NYC still lists the Trump Organization as sponsoring two two-mile sections:

      They probably signed on when they failed to get approval further north for a golf course and instead created the Donald J. Trump State Park, a poorly maintained park, in need of a great deal of work.

    10. Steven says:

      We on the UWS should start a petition to the city to have this sign removed.

      We on the UWS have different values than this sign represents. It’s not only an eye sore due to it predictably over done ugly typeface, it’s not in anyway “beautifying” the roadway. I could argue it negatively impacts the reputation of our neighborhood and our property values.

      What a great story! UWS sues to remove trump sign.

      Time for the city to give the opportunity to donate to someone else. Who actually deserves it.

    11. Anthony Smith says:

      a spokesperson for the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) wrote:

      “The sign was removed after a vandalism incident and will be replaced soon.”

      no need to hurry; take 25 years!

      • charles becker says:

        If it the usual wasteful government it might take 25 years.
        Remember the city owned broken, unusable ice slating ring in Central Park. It was broken for six years. They gave it over to Donald Trump who fixed it within six months.
        Since many posters work for the government and think more government is the solution to every problems maybe the above story will be fruit for thought.


        • Mark Moore says:

          That’s ancient history. How long is Trump going to ride on that story about fixing an ice rink 35 years ago.

        • Delphic conjurer says:

          Trump fixed the rink to improve the views from the park-facing windows on the properties he owned. The uncompleted rink was an eyesore, and Trump often knew (and claimed openly and often) that customers paid a higher room rate for a view. Later he had to sell those properties because of business mismanagement. So the city got lucky. Trump did not do this out of the kindness of his heart or any sense of civic-mindedness, but for the benefit of his bottom line.

        • John E. says:

          Charles Becker, seriously? You want to talk about the skating rink after what Trump has done to this city as president? What about the businesses that are gone for good? What about the job losses? The city’s financial state? The MTA? The tourist industry?

          This city has been left in ruins because of this incompetent president and his administration and you want bring up the ice skating rink in Central Park as his crowning achievement???

    12. amy says:

      Unfortunately, the terms of the “donation” likely requires the sign to continue to be maintained/replaced.

      We should focus our efforts to wipe Trump from NY in other venues

    13. Nevets K says:

      I sort of like the sign.
      It’s yet another reminder of what’s so remarkable about New York: You can be having a great day, or make a million dollars in an afternoon on Wall Street, and then step in a big pile of dog crap on your way home.
      It’s a hubris-killing city.
      This sign reminds us that no matter how good things may seem, Trump (Death) may appear in our vista.

    14. Time's Up says:

      Yes, I also noticed that but it’s been missing before, because it was constantly graffitied – and rightly so. He probably didn’t pay a dime and stiffed DOT. Hope it’s not resurrected. Why don’t they put it up on the Mar-a-Lago golf course.

    15. Francine Vale says:

      UWS Rag. If i already posted it where is it? I am not seeing it in comments. I hope you aren’t censoring my comment. thank you for a meaningful reply francine vale

    16. David Rapkin says:

      The nation and now our neighborhood has spoken.Let the hard work of restoring what was lost, supressed, forced on the country and the world. For the moment it looks like The Founders idea has passed the greatest stress test in its history. So much repair work is ahead. Let it begin immediately.

    17. Mark Moore says:

      That’s what I call beautifying the highway.

    18. Bill says:

      Just by removing the sign and his name they have helped beautify the UWS!

    19. Farnham Maxwell says:

      When/if it “appears” vigilant..Remove it again.
      Wrap carefully. Send to Mar A Lago as an early XMAS gift

    20. F. S. Fitzgerald says:

      Has he actually been funding the cleanup of the highway? That is the deal, fund the cleanup get your name on a sign. Since his record is spotty at best when it comes to charities, paying his contractors, telling the truth, why would anyone think this guy pays to clean the Highway?

    21. Maxwell says:

      I suggested the sign should be sent to Mara A lago..I was censored..Just a friendly

    22. John says:

      42 percent of NY residents voted for Trump thought you all where going to bring everyone together? I feel the left will make the situation worse after reading comments from the left.

      • JL says:

        Yes, NY State was never in doubt for Biden vs Trump (60/40).

        In Manhattan where people have known who Trump is, and what he stands for. The results are close to 85/15. I’m guessing he got crushed even harder.(than 85/15) in the UWS. What happened to our friend UWS Hebrew? I do agree it’s a problem that 45% of American voters can be bamboozled by a chronic liar. Covid-19 is a hoax, income tax are for losers, … etc

        I’m glad I live in a country where we can boot out a racist autocrat. I hope the silver lining of 2020 will be increased voter registration.

        America won in 2020.

        • UWSdr says:

          I know, right? Haven’t seen UWSHebrew posting for weeks. I wonder if they are upset about the election?

          • ILoveWSR says:

            Upvote! How pleasant it’s been without UWSHebrew’s baseless Trump worship. I’m thrilled about the removal of the sign, and appreciative of those who spent their time and resources on graffiti-Ing and doctoring it all these years. Many of us would’ve liked to, but few of us were so enterprising.

            • TeachYourChildren says:

              I hope you’re not involved with raising or influencing children.

            • JL says:

              @teach just below, the reply button is out.

              I hope you are not on the frontlines as a health care worker facing thousands of needless deaths. If you’re a teacher, thank you.

              Please teach children good science/critical thinking and trust the numbers, not just the science that reinforces their beliefs. Data is the closest thing to Truth that we can currently access.

              Most of all, teach them Compassion, for others and for themselves.

    23. Carlos says:

      Paying for this stretch of highway is literally the only somewhat legit charitable activity that Trump has ever been involved in. For someone who alleges he is so rich, his lack of charitable activity is an embarrassment.

      He is happy to plaster his name on buildings but won’t give a penny to anyone else. If he had even spent a few bucks to sponsor some little league teams, it would have gone a long way. For example, I despise the politics of the Koch’s, but I am slightly more tolerant due to their extensive charitable activities.

    24. Petie says:

      The sign can go and Trump can go!!! His name represents absolutely NOTHING good or constructive!

    25. Steven says:

      A few years back during the start of his term, the residents of the newer apartment buildings between 66th & 70th street (down by the river aside the ABC studio) had Trumps name removed from the front of their buildings. I remember seeing it on the news of what a fight it was for them to have done and most stood outside cheering as his name was torn down off it by the construction workers.

    26. EG says:

      Trump is doing us a service by adopting the highway. Why are you complaining about him? Why are you snickering and cheering when the sign is vandalized? Why is WSR publishing an article implying this is so funny and great – I had enjoyed reading what I thought was supposed to be an apolitical blog.

    27. Patricia says:

      Yippee I hated that sign kudos who ever took it down!!!!

    28. James says:

      I noticed that sign shortly after the buildings on Riverside Blvd. removed Trump’s name from their facades and always assumed it was his way of getting back at them. It is subtle, and we know Trump never does subtle, but not out of character for him to turn what for other sponsors is a civic minded act into an act of viengeance.

    29. brandonsos says:

      Everyone is worried about Trump when the reality is that all politics are local. Gale Brewer calls Jim Oddo, a person who supported police profiling of Muslims, “a first rate human being” who should be deputy mayor after 2021. She also is against term limits for community board members, which indirectly contributes to the very NIMBYism and structural racism that is prevalent in this city, especially in outer borough NYC. It is disingenuous of Brewer to support keeping the men at the Lucerne (and burnish progressive credentials while at it) while supporting people and policies that ultimately hurt minorities and other marginalized people in NYC, especially outer borough NYC. In a multi candidate field for CD 6, why isn’t this discussion being had on the UWS. If the UWS progressives truly want to address structural and institutional racism, this discussion must be had in 2021.

    30. nemo paradise says:

      Oh, look! You put up a sign saying “Kick the Trump Doll” and all the children came running. But:

      “…a metaphor for our UWS, NYC, USA, and the world?”

      That’s a pretty impressive “metaphor” for a freakin’ road sign.

    31. good humor says:

      Love the hate in these comments.

      Peace and love!

    32. William Pearlman says:

      Women keep getting thrown on to subway tracks. But you idiot liberals are worried about a sign. The city is going down the toilet