Right-of-Way Occupancy Fee Analysis
January - April 2015
Client: Diamond Corp.
Course: Advanced Planning Studio I | PLG620
Contribution: team leadership, project management, presenting, graphics, writing, editing
For the semester I acted as a project manager for a group of 11 students tasked with solving a real-world problem: the congestion caused by construction sites that occupy lanes of traffic. We were asked to analyze the City's proposal to increase the fees charged to developers for occupying the right-of-way, and to create a new fee metric.
It was the beginning of 2015, Mayor John Tory had been elected a few months prior and, rightfully so, one of his goals was to combat traffic congestion. Part of the problem in downtown Toronto is the sheer number of construction sites that require occupation of the road in order to store equipment and receive deliveries, which can cause entire lane closures. The City was proposing an increase of the fee charged to developers to take up this space and, in some instances, was proposing an increase of over 3000%. Our client for this project was a local developer in Toronto who wanted to ensure that the fee increase, which was due for an update, was reasonable and justifiable. After analyzing over 150+ Construction Staging Area Staff Reports, conducting several financial analyses, and by reviewing what other cities like New York and Vancouver were doing, we designed a new metric. Our proposed fee structure was transparent and logical in nature and was based on the premise that the more vehicular, pedestrian, and cyclist traffic that a lane closure disrupts, the higher the price. On behalf of our client, our group was asked to make deputations at the City of Toronto's Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting in May 2015, which led to Council considering the findings of our report and adopting a revised fee.
Our group won the IBI Group Award in October 2015 for excellence in professional practice based on our report and final presentation.
Group Members: Alexander Bonadiman, Michael Dziekiewicz, Christopher Ferrari, Christine Halis, Andrew McLeod, Aileen Muan, Arash Oturkar, Paolo Brindley Pantalone, Stefano Pasquarelli, Sonia Sankarsingh