By Carol Tannenhauser
It’s happened again. The Donald J. Trump highway beautification sign, located just before the West 79th Street exit on the West Side Highway going south, has been vandalized. Two stickers were affixed to the capitalized TRUMP name, announcing FINAL DAYS, like a going-out-of-business sale. This comes less than a month after the sign was removed for restoration following another vandalism event.
The sign has become a kind of Rorschach test for UWS drivers.
When it disappeared completely, many rejoiced, while others defended President Trump. Others took a philosophical view. Commenter Nevets K. (put on your Mister Mxyzptlk glasses) wrote, “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.”
Not if Richard Robbins, a longtime Upper West Sider, has his way. Robbins started a petition to have the sign removed permanently, declaring it is in violation of the NYC Department of Transportation’s policy forbidding political candidates from adopting highways. According to the petition, “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 in place now, as Trump has stated an intention to run again in 2024.”
Apparently, political candidates and campaigns are not healthy environments for signs. Nearly 1,000 people have signed the petition so far. You can see it here.
We’re awaiting DOT’s comments, including how much continually restoring the sign costs.