County of Marin - News Releases - Signal Synchronization

For Immediate Release
March 28, 2019

Drake Blvd. Traffic Signals to be Resynchronized

Coordination effort this spring to improve travel times, enhance safety

San Rafael, CA – Several agencies are working to better synchronize traffic signals along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Larkspur, Greenbrae and Kentfield to reduce travel times and boost safety.

Traffic along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Greenbrae.The last time the traffic lights on this stretch of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard were synchronized was 2012.
The County of Marin Department of Public Works (DPW), City of Larkspur and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) were selected by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to receive a Program for Arterial System Synchronization (PASS) grant. The effort will improve traffic signal timing on East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard between Larkspur Landing Circle and Elm Avenue. More than 40,000 vehicles are driven on that 2.5-mile stretch of road each day.

The project includes synchronizing 13 traffic signals, including nine under County jurisdiction, two under the City of Larkspur’s jurisdiction and two under Caltrans’ jurisdiction. The last time the signals were synchronized was 2012.

“Traffic volumes and patterns have changed since then as the region recovered from the recession,” said Bob Goralka, DPW Principal Civil Engineer. “Traffic synchronization will better manage the traffic flow, reduce the number of traffic stops and improve travel times for motorists traversing the corridor. We’re proud to partner with MTC, Larkspur and Caltrans to improve the efficiency of one of the County’s key arterials.”

Signal synchronization promotes uniform travel times and helps reduce rear-end collisions. Improvements to air quality, by decreasing motor vehicle emissions and fuel consumption, are also possible. 

The core goals of MTC’s PASS grant program are to improve travel time and improve safety of motorists, transit riders, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The work is scheduled to begin April 11 and could take up to two weeks to complete the initial implementation. New “Traffic Signal Timing Ahead” signs will be installed prior to the work to alert motorists of the changes. The signs will remain in place while traffic signal timings are implemented, monitored and adjusted over the next three months.

The proposed traffic signal synchronization work is separate from the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard rehabilitation project that is scheduled to begin in spring 2020 with installation of new main water line. The signal resynchronization will assist with the more extensive major signal timing work that will be implemented when the designated intersection improvements are constructed as part of the major rehabilitation work that is tentatively scheduled to be completed in 2021.  


Robert Goralka
Principal Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-3076
Email: Robert Goralka
DPW Website