The debate continues as to whether the I Love NY tourism signs dotting highways around the Empire State are a help or a hazard while the state stares down a September 30 deadline.

Federal officials have threatened to yank millions of dollars in highway funds unless New York removes over 500 of the signs touting everything from scenic attractions to wineries which the Highway Administration says pose a driver distraction hazard.

State officials and some tourists have said the postings are helpful in pointing out attractions.

Washington said in February the signage did not meet standards and had to go.  The Highway Administration has withheld $14 million from New York State for violating the order to remove the plaques.

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said the state is reworking its tourism campaign and there could be modifications, or partial or complete removal of the signs even though the Democrat has insisted the advertising helps boost the Taste New York, Path Through History, Explore New York and other initiatives to bring visitors to businesses and attractions in the state.