Floating Digital Billboards Are Now Banned From New York Waterways

Bianca Bahamondes Bianca Bahamondes

Floating Digital Billboards Are Now Banned From New York Waterways
Say goodbye to the tacky billboards polluting our views along New York’s waterways.

Today, Tuesday (August 20), Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will prohibit floating “digital billboards or other type of billboard that uses flashing, intermittent or moving lights” on “navigable waters.” These types of vessels will be banned from operating, anchoring, or mooring within 1,500 feet of the shore. In a statement made by Governor Cuomo, he explains that:

“These floating billboards are a nuisance that blight our shores and distract from the great natural beauty of our waterways. This action will help make our waters more enjoyable and safer for everyone.”

Along with taking away from the beauty, these LED billboards are also a “dangerous distraction,” as Senator Brad Hoylman adds  that “Billboards belong in Times Square, not in the middle of the Hudson and East Rivers. These floating billboards are a dangerous distraction to drivers, boaters, and pedestrians, not to mention an eyesore.”

Those caught in violation of this ban will receive a penalty of $1,500 for a first offense, and $5,000 for any violations thereafter.

This new law comes after a long battle against the billboard “eyesores” created by the Miami-based company, Ballyhoo Media. Earlier this year, the city filed a lawsuit against the specific company’s 60-foot floating LED billboards advertising everything from movies to alcohol brands, calling them a “public nuisance.” According to the lawsuit, the company is already in violation of the New York City Zoning Resolution which “prohibits the operation of advertising signage in waterways adjacent to any of the three major types of zoning districts in the City – residential, commercial, and manufacturing – and within view of any major highway or bridge.” And considering the waterways are visible to drivers on the West Side Highway and FDR Drive in addition to pedestrians, cyclists, ferry passengers, and residents, the city is seeking penalties of up to $25,000 per violation, per day of their ongoing violations.

Even with this new law in place, the lawsuit is still active.

featured image source: Facebook / Ballyhoo Media

Also published on Medium.

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