Digital Billboard Barges Banned from New York Waters

Blank billboard
Blank billboard via Paweล‚ Czerwiล„ski on Unsplash

The Governor signed legislation today banning digital billboards on barges from the waters surrounding the city.

Ever since someone got the bright idea to start floating LED billboards around the city in late 2018, politicians have set their sights on sinking the Las-Vegas-meets-Midwest-truck-stop eyesores. Today, Governor Cuomo swept them out to sea, signing a bill that will restrict a "digital billboard or other type of billboard that uses flashing, intermittent or moving lights" from being mounted to a vessel while it operates within 1,500 feet of the New York shoreline.

In Senator Brad Hoylman's original bill, local governments can choose to permit billboards or flashing lights to come within 1,500 feet of shore, which will seemingly allow the Fourth of July fireworks barges to continue displaying the lighted Macy's logo during the fireworks display.

The 1,500 foot restriction doesn't stretch as far as you'd think (about one and a half Avenue blocks in Midtown), so will we now see ever-larger billboards mounted to cruise ships floating 1,501 feet away from your sunset picnic?

Realistically, there's certain to be at least one more round in this fight, as the bill specifically targets flashing or moving lights, so expect standard highway vinyl billboards with non-flashing lights to reappear the day after the last voyage of the digital billboard ships.


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