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Area officials: we'll fight to keep Adirondack road signs

But APA Executive Director Terry Martino, who sent a letter to FHWA defending the yellow letters, disagreed.

"Based on DOT expertise, the agency does not agree with the FHWA that the brown and yellow coloring presents a safety concern," Martino said.

Adirondack Park Agency Chairman Curt Stiles said that periodically, the state Dept. of Transportation has been able to convince FHWA officials to retain the brown-and-yellow signs by successfully obtaining a waiver from the federal standards.

"I don't know anyone who thinks white on brown is a good idea," he said. "We can win this."

Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty said that replacing thousands of signs through the Adirondacks and Catskills - just to change the color of the letters - was a frivolous, costly idea. Each town in the Adirondacks would need to pay tens of thousands of dollars needlessly to make the changeover, he said.

"This is another governmental waste of money that's expensive to taxpayers."

But state DOT Regional II Director Michael Shamma said that the FHWA was re-drafting their national standards as they do periodically, and they were likely to listen to the opinions of area officials.

The brown and yellow signs have been used since the 1920s by the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation to designate their facilities as well as natural landmarks. This DEC color scheme pre-dates all national parks, he said.

"Absolutely no one would deny that the Adirondacks and Catskills are very special places and those signs are part of our cultural heritage," he said.

Monroe said he hopes that the FHWA officials respect that heritage.

"They should get the information out to the public then solicit opinion, rather than the normal governmental routine in which they determine policy, then seek public input."

Jon Alexander, Assistant News Director of radio station WNBZ, contributed to this report.

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