County of Marin - News Releases - Drake Boulevard Lighting

For Immediate Release
April 05, 2023

New Street Lighting along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard

Revised project will bring decorative poles to medians soon

San Rafael, CA – Work will begin in mid-April to revise street lighting on the median islands along one mile of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, between Manor Road in Kentfield and Eliseo Drive in Greenbrae. Overseen by the Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW), the lighting update project will address street lighting that was installed during the Upgrade the Drake project, completed in November 2021, replacing a selection of lighting poles with shorter, decorative poles and dimmer fixtures.

A street view of a new light pole along Sir Francis Drake BoulevardPublic Works is removing 20 streetlight poles from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and replacing them with 28 shorter and more decorative ones.

The work is expected to begin April 17 and is scheduled to take about three weeks to complete, weather permitting. Once the project is finished, 20 street light poles will have been removed and replaced with 28 new light poles that are shorter and have a more decorative style.

In April 2022, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved the estimated $300,000 purchase of the new light poles, funded by the remaining budget of the Upgrade the Drake project and the Marin County Street Light Fund. The delivery of the new light poles was expected last fall but the manufacturing process was delayed due to industrywide supply chain issues.

All efforts will be made to keep traffic impacts to a minimum. There will be intermittent single lane closures on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to allow for safe working space for crews and installation of the new poles. The single lane closures will primarily occur on the eastbound side, but there will be occasional single lane closures on the westbound side. Any given lane closure will not exceed 500 feet and traffic wait times are planned to be 10 minutes or less.

In response to community concerns regarding lighting enhancements implemented during the Upgrade the Drake project, the street lighting project is intended to reduce light dispersal on adjacent properties, decrease light intensity, and improve aesthetics while still maintaining the lighting uniformity levels necessary for public safety. The shorter, decorative poles require closer spacing to achieve sufficient light levels on the roadway, resulting in a net increase of eight total light poles. Statistically, uniform nighttime street lighting improves safety for all modes of transportation.

In 2022, DPW replaced all the lighting fixtures to the existing light poles along the 2.2-mile corridor from the Town of Ross to Highway 101 and added backshields to help block light dispersal outside of the roadway and sidewalks. The dimmer fixtures have a brightness of 5,000 to 8,000 lumens, depending on the needs of each location. For comparison, the removed fixtures had a brightness of 12,000 lumens.

Learn more about the lighting project, as well as the separate landscaping project along Drake Boulevard, which is expected to begin this summer, by visiting DPW’s projects webpage.


Rosemarie Gaglione
Department of Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94913
(415) 473-6530
CRS Dial 711
Email: Rosemarie Gaglione
DPW Website