County of Marin - News Releases - White Hill Road Shoulder

For Immediate Release
October 17, 2014

White Hill Road Shoulder Improvements Complete

Much safer for cyclists riding along Sir Francis Drake Blvd. near Fairfax

San Rafael, CA – Cyclists riding between Fairfax and the San Geronimo Valley have a much safer ride now that the Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) has widened a 3,300-foot stretch of westbound Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.

DPW engineers said the $237,000 project was completed on October 16 with pavement striping following two months of construction. Road shoulders are now at least five feet wide thanks to funding from a federal program that encourages nonmotorized transportation.

“I’m really pleased this project is finally done,” said Katie Rice, the Marin County Supervisor representing District 2, in which the project is located.

“Sir Francis Drake over White Hill now is so much safer for the commuter and recreational bicyclist community and for the motorists who share the road with them.”

District 4 Supervisor Steve Kinsey, whose jurisdiction starts at crest of White Hill, said the upgraded section is the Cross-Marin Trail’s gateway to West Marin. “The heavily-used shoulder has remained a safety challenge for decades, so its completion (is) the basis of both relief and celebration,” he said.  

The stretch of Drake Boulevard is between Baywood Canyon Road, about 1 ½ miles northwest of downtown Fairfax, to the Hal Brown Bridge on White Hill. Team Ghilotti of Petaluma was awarded the construction contract in January.

The funding came from a grant from the national Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP), which has been the source of Marin projects at the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, Enfrente-Commuter Connection in Novato, Los Ranchitos/Las Gallinas Bike Lanes in San Rafael, and several stairway and sidewalk projects in Mill Valley, Larkspur and Tiburon. The projects serve people of all ages and abilities, and provided safe, convenient places to walk or ride.

For years, bikers on that section of Drake Boulevard’s uphill stretch have negotiated bumpy surfaces and shoulder widths as narrow as 18 inches.  

The project included asphalt concrete road widening, installation of buttress walls, resurfacing of the previous road shoulder and repainting of the fog line.

In a recent report, the NTPP concluded that continued investment in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Marin, coupled with outreach programming, has positively affected transportation choices and opportunities. Additional information on the local program can be obtained at


Ernest Klock
Assistant Director
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6552
Email: Ernest Klock
Public Works website