City’s DT Transportation Consultant to Suggest How Tech Innovation Can Affect Downtown Planning


By Judy Corbett

Jeff Tumlin, Internationally Recognized Transportation Expert, Speaking Wednesday Dec. 6 at 7 PM in the Davis City Council Chambers.

Jeff Tumlin is a member of the consulting team for our new downtown plan.  He will be speaking for the Davis Futures Forum, sharing his insights regarding how demographic changes and technological innovations are modifying the rules of the transportation game.

His talk will give us ideas for making our downtown a more economically successful, environmentally sound and enjoyable place to live, work and play.  While Tumlin is a respected transportation expert, he is also known for his great sense of humor.  His TEDx talk, “Sex, Neuroscience and the City,” reflects his thoughtful yet entertaining approach to the future of parking and transportation.  He is well known for his ability to bring people together to make the hard decisions by making the process fun.

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Tumlin has a strong record of success helping communities unstick the sticky issue of transportation and parking, moving them from discord to agreement about the future. For more than 20 years, he has led award-winning plans in cities from Seattle and Mountain View to Edmonton, Canada, balancing all modes of transportation to achieve communities’ wider goals and best utilize their limited resources.

He is renowned for helping people define what they value, then building consensus on complex and controversial projects. He provides residents and stakeholders the tools they need to evaluate their transportation investments in the context of achieving long-term goals and believes that managing parking and transportation demand is critical for revitalizing downtowns and creating sustainable places.

Tumlin is director of strategy for Nelson/Nygaard, the firm recently hired by the city of Davis to create a transportation plan for the Core Area. As such, he will share information about the expanding market for downtown living for millennials and seniors. He will help Davis examine how these growing populations, and the increasing population of UC Davis students, will influence future uses and future transportation needs in the Core Area.

Parking and Housing Affordability are intimately linked, as one of Jeff Tumlin’s slides suggests. Tumlin will share some new thinking how to address this.

He also will help Davis consider the possible impact of the growing number of electric cars, the whizzing around of self-driving cars (which he has called “self-driving brothels”!), and the rapid expansion of Uber.

In a recent interview, Tumlin described, with a laugh, “the utopian market paradise.” He envisions the possibility of cities generating greater economic activity by diverting the money that’s spent on building parking garages into something else.

Property owners will earn more money by charging for something they’re currently giving away for free, he said, and it will become easier for autos to get around as the roads are cleared of parking hunters and more people move on to other forms of transportation (some of which will, it is hoped, be funded by parking revenue).

According to Tumlin, “This is why the market is just so brilliant. You can make it easier to drive, make people happier about the driving experience, and still have fewer people drive.”

Through the upcoming Core Area plan visioning process, Davis residents will be able determine what they want for their own Core Area. Perhaps it’s his “utopian market paradise,” or perhaps it’s something else.

Regardless of the outcome, having Tumlin as Davis’ new transportation consultant certainly will make the upcoming Core Area planning process a lot of fun!

To assure a seat for this presentation and discussion, visit

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