Trump Highway Sign at West 79th To Be Removed After 1,600 Sign Petition

Photograph by Richard Robbins.

By Carol Tannenhauser

The Donald J. Trump highway beautification sign — on the southbound side of the Henry Hudson Parkway, just north of the West 79th Street exit — is being removed, according to a letter from the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, who shared it with WSR.

“DOT has determined that the contract between the organization and the maintenance contractor expired on November 7 and will not be renewed,” Manhattan Borough Commissioner Edward F. Pincar Jr. wrote, on Monday, November 8th. “The existing sign will be removed promptly.”

Trump’s name has been a presence on the Upper West Side for decades — the development he spearheaded along the Hudson River from 59th to 72nd Streets included several Trump-branded buildings, until residents decided to take his name down. Similarly, the highway sign has been controversial for years, and was defaced multiple times.

DOT notified Rosenthal of its decision because she had called and written a letter to the Commissioner in July, in support of a petition launched by Upper West Sider Richard Robbins in late 2020, demanding that the sign be taken down.

“It violates DOT’s own policy, stating that ‘Highways can be adopted by individuals, companies, or organizations (but not by political candidates and campaigns),'” Robbins wrote. “The sign should have been removed in 2015 and should not be in place now, as Trump has stated an intention to run again in 2024.”

At the time, DOT disagreed, telling the Rag, “[The sign] is paid for by the [Trump] organization, not any personal/political entity.” The petition then had 25 signatures. It now has garnered nearly 1,700. (One signer said, “His name is too upsetting to drivers. It will cause accidents.”)

When informed of DOT’s latest decision, Robbins responded, “That’s awesome! For years, this sign has been an affront to people on the Upper West Side who are offended by Trump’s racism and misogyny, and more recently his promotion of the insurrection. We are outraged that a president who helped destroy our environment would be credited as a sponsor of a highway ‘beautification’ initiative. I applaud DOT for taking this action, and hope they have a ceremony that the 1,600+ people who signed the petition can attend [and] witness an act of true beautification of our neighborhood — removal of the sign.”

Rosenthal also hailed DOT’s decision. “Though it may be impossible to remove his name from our collective history, we can and must remove his name from New York’s vaunted institutions and infrastructure,” she wrote.

The Trump Organization is currently fighting to retain another city contract for a Bronx golf course, pending litigation. The city did not renew contracts for two Central Park concessions, Wollman Rink and the Carousel, following the events of January 6th.

ABSURDITY, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 78 comments | permalink
    1. Never Again! says:

      As the Brit’s say in Parliament in approval of something :
      HEAR, HEAR !!

    2. stashy says:

      Why stop with this? We must eliminate the term ‘trump’ from bridge games, though presumably the term ‘no trumps’ would be allowed to remain.

    3. good humor says:

      The wolf leapt off the cliff trying to catch the bird.

    4. GG says:

      “I have never wished a man dead but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure”

      Mark Twain

    5. matt says:

      good morning indeed!

    6. EdNY says:

      The sign should be removed beause the contract has expired. If the name on the sign properly reflected the corporation, it was correctly displayed, despite the enormous distaste for the individual (which I share).

    7. Leon says:

      I really don’t understand why it didn’t come down years ago based on the fact that Trump was a political candidate. Donald J Trump and The Trump Organization are not the same legal entity (though they are pretty close) – if the sign said “The Trump Organization” I can see an argument for letting it stay, but his personal name is different and is the name of a politician. I guess the DOT was afraid of being sued by Trump’s fleet of sketchy lawyers.

      Good riddance – we are in parks overlooking that sign often and do not need to see his evil name – all of the kids talk about it.

      • Bob says:

        If it’s any consolation, he doesn’t pay his lawyers anyway…

      • Charles says:

        I’m a little confused. President Trump got the U.S. a vaccine in record time. It usually takes at least 10 years to develop vaccines. This vaccine was developed in less than 1/4 of that timeframe.

        The stats for the UWSers who have taken President Trump’s vaccine are:

        10023 78% Fully Vaxxed
        10024 74% Fully Vaxxed
        10025 72% Fully Vaxxed

        https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data-vaccines.page#byzip

        • vg says:

          That’s just dumb. It was never Trump’s vaccine. And his administration’s stupidity killed a lot of people.

          Trump did little to nothing to facilitate the creation of a vaccine.

          Trump’s actions and rhetoric only discouraged people from taking it.

    8. Citizen says:

      Well, count me pleased.
      Every time I pass it I think, “Really? Still with this thing?”
      It’s literally a driving distraction.

    9. Fake News? says:

      Where is DOT getting its information that Trump is 100% going to run again? I mean, I think in the back of our minds we all know it’s going to happen, but he has not officially announced. I Googled it to make sure. As of yesterday, Politico was reporting he has not announced, but may likely announce after midterms.

      I know this is a post about the sign (which wasn’t taken down because of the petition as the headline indicates, rather because the contract was up, per the article), but so much has been contentious re news & politics lately. Let’s not spread misinformation if we can.

      • Don Kedick says:

        That’s a quote from Robbins, not DOT.

        Trump has said very specifically that he’s not announcing yet for campaign financing reasons, but he has said he “will be talking about it” and that his supporters “will be very happy”.

        • Truth and Reason says:

          It doesn’t matter who it is from if it is wrong. You can quote someone who is giving incorrect information, but then the article has to reveal that it is incorrect by supplying the facts in turn. It’s Society of Professional Journalism Code of Ethics 101. Just because the misinformation is tucked in a quote doesn’t dismiss a reporter’s obligation to report the truth.

          • John Blank says:

            That’s 100% false, there’s no compromise of journalistic integrity here.

            Robbins expressed a fact and an opinion, and he made both parts clear – Trump should have been rendered ineligible when he was a registered political candidate for president, and should remain ineligible based on his intention to run.

      • EdNY says:

        I don’t think whether or not he is going to run again is the issue (which would require the sign being removed even if the contract weren’t up) – it’s whether or not he is a political figure. His actions this year clearly indicate that he is.

    10. Mark Moore says:

      The words “beautification” and “Donald J Trump” are highly incongruous.

    11. Bob Lamm says:

      Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    12. chuck d says:

      If DOT wants to sell me the sign, please have them call me

    13. Alice Jacobs says:

      Anything that can be done to remove Trump’s name is an act of beautifying the environment.

    14. UWSider says:

      I’ve developed a habit of flipping off this sign every time I pass by it for the past few years.

      • new englander says:

        I believe anybody who wants to support the city and its infrastructure should be appreciated. We drive this stretch and see this sign frequently, always appreciating the fact that individuals still support the clean up of the highways. I hope the hatred expressed here doesn’t result in a stretch of highway filled with litter and weeds. Will that satisfy the haters?

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        My wife and I do the same every time we exit at West 79th Street. White hot hatred.

    15. Sal says:

      Whoever spearheaded this is deranged. I couldn’t stand obama but I never torched cars or smashed storefront windows over it. Now you see what’s in the white house and I suppose you’re happy? Why would anyone care about a sign on the highway when fuel prices are so high you can’t even afford to drive anywhere anymore?

      • Bob says:

        Removing a sign through official process = torching cars and smashing windows. Okilly dokilly.

      • Benoit says:

        Very pertinent comment.
        Alas, I have no clue as to what you are trying to say.

      • Brandon says:

        Oh please, gas prices are not as bad as you’re making them out to be, nor can you fairly blame them on the current president.

        According to U.S. Department of Energy stats, average retail gas prices in the NYC metro area are still below 2011 to 2014 levels and far from their 2008 peak.

        Forget covid — I think you have a case of Biden Derangement Syndrome.

      • Steve says:

        Hey Sal, if was up to Trump, you wouldn’t be able to breath the air in a few years! You’re clearly on the wrong side of history! Please take a moment to reassess your position!

      • Tom D says:

        You’re way too rational for the woke liberal UWS elite!

        • UWSwokeup says:

          Tom D.: Why are you reading the UWS Rag then? And the right’s use of woke is just another dog whistle. I will take liberals over bigots any day!

      • Joseph R. Giordano says:

        I agree 100%

      • “…fuel prices are so high you can’t even afford to drive anywhere anymore?”

        Rising fuel prices! I bet it’s all just a conspiracy to keep people from joy riding so as to lower the carbon footprint of the USA!!

        I only pray that it works.

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        LOL, where do you get your information from? Actually, never mind. We all know.

      • Notrump says:

        Have you driven lately? Gas prices are lower than they were during the Bush years. As for Obana, he never tried to overthrow the government of our country.

      • 35 miles per gallon says:

        Gas prices are about $1/gallon more than it was. If you can’t afford an additional $15 every 425 miles, you can’t afford to have a car in NYC.

      • Susann says:

        Agree…this is pure partisan politics at its highest level. ‘Nuff said!

        • John Blank says:

          So, you think the fact that he hasn’t paid for the sign and allowed the contract to expire has a political element to it?

          I know you guys are OK with him not paying taxes, so just to be clear – how long should his unpaid sign continue to provide free advertising for Trump, paid for by NYC residents, before it gets taken down?

    16. Chuck says:

      Glad to see that the city is taken care of very important items such as removing signs that contain their political rivals name. Maybe now the city can concentrate on less important issues such as crime, homelessness, garbage, potholes, mass transit problems, cost of living, etc.

      • LucilleSoho says:

        Exactly! I wish the same energy was directed at something constructive. Ugh. UWS has lost the plot.

    17. Frank Grimes says:

      Im proud of my fellow UWS’rs for moving on from being offended by statues of historical figures who died 500 years ago, to being offended by structures of more contemporary figures.

      Anyone want to start a petition to get rid of those creepy Alice in Wonderland statues in CP? I imagine those offend someone…..

    18. Ang says:

      Finally!!! 😹

    19. I will be so glad when that sign is gone. “Beautification” and Donald Trump are polar opposites.

    20. Morrie Ross says:

      I am really puzzled by the hatred. I imagine you’re otherwise nice people, but you’re imbued with such evil hatred, which prevents you from seeing the truth.

      • John Blank says:

        The truth is Trump was a terrible New Yorker. He went on to be an even worse president, who used lies and fear to help destroy this country and get countless Americans killed due to his indifference to COVID19. His legacy is a huge deficit that he left in order to help out a few of his billionaire buddies, a complete disaster in Afghanistan after supporting the Taliban, and a COVID crisis fueled in part by vaccine and mask misinformation that he helped foment that’s still getting Americans killed today.

        Worst president in American history who probably should have been imprisoned for treason if not for the fact that he strongarmed his government out of enforcing it’s checks and balances.

        The truth hurts.

    21. Sally says:

      That is a shame. Trump was a great president with excellent policy despite human foibles. People are lemmings to trust corrupt media and this dislike the good he spearheaded. Let’s go Brandon.

      • John Blank says:

        How cute, bashing the current president who wasn’t responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans (and New Yorkers), and supporting the tax dodging misogynist with a little catchphrase.

        Trump lied, 750k Americans (and counting) died.

    22. Marilyn says:

      The city and state should also imprisionbhim for tax evasion.

    23. Susan says:

      HOORAY for small victories! This made me smile.

    24. Roberta Maxwell says:

      Gone..but alas never to be forgotten

    25. Farnham says:

      Gone

    26. Live on the UWS says:

      This shows Trump loves Nature. It also shows he is willing to pay to clean up the mess of thoughtless motorists who throw trash onto the grass.

    27. BILLYNYC says:

      Excuse me I thought that sign was to be removed two years ago after me and my neighbors put black paint all over it?

    28. Brown says:

      i hope that all you idiots are happy with the current package that you bought, viz. buyers’ remorse! really, there are so many many more important issues to focus on than “drivers being upset” when they see the name of the former great president …

    29. Consuelo says:

      Please put me on the mailing list for the ceremony.

    30. Maggie says:

      People grow up…don’t you have better things to complain about?

    31. NANNETTE Gonnella says:

      trump sign gone✊🏽 Teddy Roosevelt on CPW next!✅ Happy Holidays NYC💋

    32. B. Fleck-Paladino says:

      YAY!

    33. J k says:

      Everyone loves gas at $4.50 a gallon soon it will be higher $ 5 to 6 a gallon going up and up oh what food prices etc everyone loves to pay more and more be happy

    34. Bill Williams says:

      Why the continued censorship on this page?

    35. mmary says:

      Thank God – Jesus wanted this sign gone I have prayed very hard for it to be gone. Thank God.

    36. james guzman says:

      Please do, it’s an eyesore and nothing I want to see even before I’ve had my morning coffee.

    37. B Kaufman says:

      It is amazing that a political viewpoint is the basis for removing an opposing political person. NY has become the intolerant city that tries to project itself as most tolerant.
      The people of NY should ask whether they are better off now or 6 years ago.

    38. Kathy Crawford says:

      Good riddance!

    39. Brandon says:

      Funny, when I saw an abbreviated headline about the “Trump Sign” I thought the story would be about taking down the “F**K Trump” sign that has been hanging from a building clearly visible to Metro North riders in upper Manhattan since 2016. I guess that’s OK.

    40. Ellie Karanauskas says:

      YAY!!!!

    41. DAVID LAROCCA says:

      How much money did they pay initially for beautification?? How much did they pay on a yearly basis. Or was the sigh the only they paid for? Looks like weeds near the sign not flowers.

    42. Kathy Carver says:

      John Blank. You said it all and said it soooooo well. Donald Trump was a horrible president as well as a terrible person. Good for NYC. You folks are the absolute best!!!!!

    43. Happy Driver says:

      Good RidDunce! Finally I can exit the WS Highway without gagging and driving while mentally impaired.

    44. John says:

      Maybe the 1600 people who were bothered by the sign will pay for a contract to clean the highway as Trump had been doing.

      • UWSConcerned says:

        And it would be great if just the people who were in favor of the City early terminating all City contracts with the Trump Organization last year would cover the litigation costs (and not the rest of). I am not a Trump supporter but at some point we need to start letting our decision process be guided by rationale thought and not pure emotion

    45. Coogan says:

      Trumps cheap little trick has always been to get publicity for free- or as close as he can get to it. The variety of his self promotion angles is notorious, as far from honest, giving, thoughtful and altruistic as one can get.

      He was told the public would see the sign and think better of him, so he paid for up once. As far as anyone can tell there was never any actually beautification efforts made on a routine basis to prove it made NYC better. He knew that but only cared about seeming like a good guy- though he hates animals, is a germ-o-phobe, is never seen in real nature that isn’t highly altered and is fake. The same guy who puts his name on golf courses and poor quality buildings others build that actually pollute the environment. He’s obsessed with self promotion, and people seeing his name writ large and he doesn’t care about actually doing good. A sociopath to his core.

      Sign should’ve been taken down long long ago.

    46. Don Kedick says:

      Trolls are out in force on this one. You can tell they’re not UWS residents because they keep going on about rising gas prices and not conditions on the subway. It’s the anti-Biden talking point du jour, so they have to repeat it even where it doesn’t make sense. Don’t bother engaging with their nonsense, just move on to the next article.