Service of a Bad Sign: Who Approves the Proofs?

August 19th, 2019

Categories: Bank, Bridges, Details, New York City, Potholes, Proofing

It’s not just road signs in the NY Metro area that need to be corrected at significant expense, but sloppy work by admins that when added up must cost corporations a pretty penny.

I read an Associated Press story in The New York Post which reported that all the signs to the newly named Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge need patching to add his initial–M. “The nearly $4 billion bridge over the Hudson River opened last year. Connecting Westchester and Rockland counties north of New York City, the span replaced the former Tappan Zee Bridge — or, officially, the Gov. Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge.”

The article continues the “missing ‘M.’ fixes come as a state agency is also correcting a misspelling of the name of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. For over 50 years, one “Z″ was missing.” Hmmmm.

On a far smaller scale, a bank put the III that had been at the end of my husband’s name at the end of mine, i.e. Jeanne-Marie Byington III. I called to correct the error for future statements. It took three calls and additional incorrect references to my name for III to disappear.

At another institution, I changed a joint account to one in my name. After asking me all sorts of financial questions for 10+ minutes, the customer service person ordered new checks. [I may be the last person on earth to use checks.] I noticed that the account numbers on the new checks matched those of the closed account. Can you hear the bounce of checks near and far had I not caught the error?

As for the road signs: Who proofs them? Must we spend money to fix them right now when funds could be better applied to road repair?

So who pays for the reprinted checks? I don’t know what to think about the banks’ administrative errors except that I hope that the departments at each institution that add and subtract deposits and withdrawals do a better job.

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6 Responses to “Service of a Bad Sign: Who Approves the Proofs?”

  1. Amanda Ripanykhazova Said:

    You are obviously right about the bridge spelling. But I wonder who the pedant is who approves spending millions to do not much to a perfectly adequately named bridge. Which should be (and probably will be) called the Cuomo Bridge, on the British model.
    Does anyone actually say, for example, ‘Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard’? Isn’t this name shortened for normal conversation? To, say, Junior Blvd?

  2. ASK Said:

    You are NOT alone. I continue to use them and will until paper becomes obsolete. I firmly believe that the world needs more proofreaders!!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I liked Mario Cuomo but will always think of that bridge as the Tappan Zee and apparently many locals also plan to continue to do so. Paying for a non-essential M in a bunch of signs irks me.

    I also call the 59th Street Bridge the 59th Street Bridge, not the Mayor Koch or Ed Koch Bridge…and I liked that Mayor. I also don’t call it the Queensboro Bridge–too long.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Here here for paper checks!

    As for proofreaders, with Google by our side it should not be that hard to give the task to a sharp person on staff. Further, common sense please: Who ever heard of a woman with Jr, III or 2nd after her name?

  5. Lucrezia Said:

    Some time ago, a local comedian decided to alter some of the road signs from “XYZ Crossing” to “Zombie Crossing.” Predictably some drivers believed and were stressed. Authorities grumbled, but the prankster wasn’t caught..

    I don’t pay much attention to signs unless in unfamiliar territory and/or lost.

    As to checks, my bank made an error which was swiftly dealt with. No complaints. Efficient bank!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Precisely. Few would get lost because the M wasn’t in the Cuomo bridge signs and the second z omitted from Verrazzano. That’s why I’d vote to leave them all alone until all the roads around each are ship-shape.

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