Bad sign? New Lyft billboard gets mixed reviews from drivers

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BROOKLYN — There's no denying that most days the roadway is one of the most congested in the city.

Which is why the app based car service Lyft decided to put a 90 word billboard along side the road.

"I think it's ridiculous.  So many words, what are they trying to say?" said one driver named Mario as he stopped for a red light.

The company figured with drivers stuck in standstill traffic they'd have time to read the billboard to articulate just how bad the traffic can be.

The Billboard reads:

"This is a bad sign.  Right now you're supposed to be going pretty fast.  Which is why most billboards only have three or four words.  But this one has Ninety, and the fact that you've read this many of them in the middle of the road is a pretty good indication that something's gone wrong.  We're not going to sit here and pretend it'll be easy to fix.  But we have a pretty good idea.  And if you download the app you'll have it too."

"In traffic would you be stuck and try and read the sign?"

"I'm doing it now," said one driver in a Smart Car as he took off.

Some drivers say that's the problem.  Too many people are focusing on the billboard, when they should be focusing on the road.

"It's dangerous because the people who see it, that's confusing," said driver George Diaz.

"There's people that they want to read it, so they're going to get into the accident," said Mario.

So far New York City Open Data doesn't have any record of traffic accidents near the billboard since it went up.  But Tuesday we did see a few people trying to read the sign as they drove by before other drivers helped refocused their attention with a honk.

In a statement a spokesperson for Lyft told PIX11, "The safety of everyone on the road is our top priority. We were diligent in placing these billboards in highly congested areas where commuters are often stuck at a standstill. Our goal is to highlight what's not working on our roads today and how Lyft is trying to make things better by acting as an alternative to car ownership, helping to fill empty seats, and reducing the number of cars on the road."

But some drivers say a 90 word ad is pushing the limit.

"Traffic's not that bad," said Mario.

Those stuck in it, might disagree.