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10 N.J.A.R. 161

Philadelphia Outdoor v. Expressway Authority, New Jersey; and the Outdoor Advertising Section, New Jersey Department of Transportation
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Citation: 10 N.J.A.R. 161
Decision Date: 1986
Synopsis: Petitioner applied to respondent Outdoor Advertising Section, Department of Transportation, for a permit to place a commercial advertising sign on a site adjacent to the Atlantic City Expressway, pursuant to the Outdoor Advertising Act and regulations adopted thereunder. N.J.S.A. 54:40-50 et seq.; N.J.A.C. 16:41A-1.1 et seq. Respondent New Jersey Expressway Authority objected on the basis that the proposed sign would be detrimental to the safety of the traveling public. The application was denied and petitioner requested a hearing. The matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law. The administrative law judge assigned to the case found that respondent did not meet the burden of proof to establish that the area of the Expressway in question was uniquely hazardous. The law allows denial of an advertising sign permit if it will interfere with the safety of the traveling public. N.J.A.C. 16:41A-3.2(a). However, the proof must establish the diversionary nature of the sign, which, in turn must be correlated with the uniqueness of the secti9n of roadway in order to demonstrate that there will be impairment in public safety. Accordingly, it was ordered that petitioner's application for an outdoor advertising permit be granted. Upon review by the Department of Transportation, this initial decision was adopted. The Commissioner noted that respondents failed to correlate frequency or severity of accidents and the presence of outdoor advertising on stretches of road with characteristics similar to those at issue in this case. Unless and until the Legislature elects to ban all outdoor advertising signs on the Expressway, permits can only be denied when the conditions outlined in N.J.A.C. 16:41A-3.2(a) are clearly proven.
Statute(s) Cited: 54:40-50 et seq. 
Citation Tracker adopted-Dept. of Transportation; reversed -221 N.J. Super 207 (App. Div. 1987); dismissed-114 N.J. 470 (1988) [Updated through 1991]