Margaret J. Krauss

Development and Transportation Reporter

Margaret J. Krauss is WESA's development and transportation reporter. She previously worked for Keystone Crossroads, a statewide reporting initiative that covers problems facing Pennsylvania's cities and possible solutions. Before joining Keystone Crossroads, Margaret produced a 48-part radio series about Pittsburgh's lesser-known history, biking 2,000 miles around the region to do so.

Ways to Connect

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Construction of Pittsburgh’s bus rapid transit or BRT project is expected to begin in late 2021. Port Authority of Allegheny County is working with a project management oversight consultant from the Federal Transit Administration to ensure the agency meets the remaining requirements, which include finalizing funding and design.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Five years ago, a place called the Penn Plaza Apartments burst into the city of Pittsburgh’s collective awareness, when a letter from the building’s landlord became public.

Image courtesy of LaQuatra Bonci Associates

The lead commercial developer on Pittsburgh's Lower Hill, Buccini/Pollin Group, announced new partners on Thursday.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

On Wednesday the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency announced federal charges against the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority for past violations of the Clean Water Act.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Some people worry there’s another looming housing crisis in Pittsburgh. It won’t hinge on tearing down buildings, because the buildings are already gone.


Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Late in the fight for Penn Plaza, a new group of people arrives on the scene. They look at the battle for the apartment complex and see it as a symptom of a much bigger problem: lots of people can’t afford America’s “most livable city.”


Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The mayor of Pittsburgh and his right hand man sit down to negotiate with Larry Gumberg and the Penn Plaza tenant council, led by Bob Jamison and Gail Williams. But what can city officials really do in scenarios like Penn Plaza? What power do cities actually have? A lot.


Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A lot has been said in Pittsburgh about the would-be developers of the Penn Plaza Apartments, Lawrence Gumberg and his two sons, Brian and Zach. Land & Power presents the first and only comprehensive interview with the family. 


Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In episode one of Land & Power, we meet Bob Jamison and Gail Williams, two residents of the Penn Plaza Apartments in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They react very differently to the news that they and 200 of their neighbors will have to leave their homes to make way for new development.


From 90.5 WESA, this is Land & Power: who has it, what they do with it, and how that shapes the cities around us.

 


Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto and his administration on Tuesday launched ForgingPGH, a new, year-long effort to explore how people want to see their neighborhoods and the city change. Ultimately, ForgingPGH will create a comprehensive guide to land use for the next 20 years.

Margaret J. Krauss

The coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt life in the region; overall, residents of Allegheny County are still traveling less compared to 2019. However, bike miles have gone up.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The coronavirus pandemic upended commuting patterns in the Pittsburgh region. In the early months of Pennsylvania’s shutdown, traffic dropped by as much as 50 percent in Allegheny County, according to Streetlight Data. On average, PennDOT officials say vehicular traffic remains about 20 percent lower than normal.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvanians who receive unemployment benefits will be short $600 dollars this week; the weekly $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation expired for Pennsylvanians on Saturday, and Congress has yet to decide to renew the additional payment. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials gathered with local and state leaders at a lead line replacement site in Bloomfield on Wednesday to celebrate news that lead levels in the system have dropped to 5.1 parts per billion. The agency is now in full compliance with federal and state regulations for the first time since 2016.

Tom Dougherty / Allegheny Land Trust

The nonprofit Allegheny Land Trust has acquired 155 acres of woodlands in Elizabeth Township. The land sits about a mile above the Youghiogheny River, and is home to wild turkey and other wildlife, as well as a network of trails. The organization sees its work playing an important role in Allegheny County’s future.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Renters and homeowners struggling to cover the costs of housing due to the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for help. Pennsylvania’s rent relief and mortgage assistance programs began accepting applications Monday.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A coalition of advocacy groups is calling on the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Directors to remove police officers from school buildings.

Antunovich Associates

The historic Produce Terminal in Pittsburgh’s Strip District is expected to be ready for new tenants this fall. The first phase of renovations was completed last week.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On Saturday afternoon hundreds of people gathered in front of Pittsburgh’s City-County Building. They filled Grant Street between Fourth and Forbes avenues in a giant circle to oppose police brutality and call to amend Pennsylvania’s use of force law.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council voted against a study that could have changed how a new pot of money is spent on affordable housing. Tuesday’s vote is the latest chapter in a years-long fight over the redevelopment of the former Penn Plaza Apartments in East Liberty.

Matt Rourke / AP

A day after leaving his post as speaker of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, Mike Turzai has become general counsel for Peoples Gas, the Pittsburgh-based natural gas division of Essential Utilities Inc., the company said Tuesday.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Hundreds gathered in Squirrel Hill this afternoon for “Civil Saturday,” a weekly demonstration begun by Black, Young & Educated, a Pittsburgh group created in 2019 by five teenagers. Participants were asked to wear black as a tribute to the Pan-African flag; adopted in 1920, the red, black, and green flag represents "black freedom." 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania will offer $225 million to small businesses struggling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. At a press conference on Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf said residents must remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19, but that the state can begin to focus on economic recovery.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked waves of protests across the country to oppose police brutality. On Monday afternoon, officials held a press conference to discuss how a Saturday demonstration in Pittsburgh devolved into a clash between protestors and the Bureau of Police, and ended with property destruction, tear gas, and rubber bullets.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The day after a peaceful Pittsburgh demonstration downtown turned chaotic, leaving a police car burned, businesses looted and damaged and a multiple reporters injured, community members met for a peaceful vigil in East Liberty around racial justice.

Courtesy of Gensler

The Pittsburgh Penguins will advance their plans for a 26-story office tower on the former site of the Civic Arena in the Lower Hill. The project won preliminary approval from the board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday, a week after they moved to delay the vote, citing community concerns and documents received at the last minute.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

With the warming weather and the city of Pittsburgh squarely in the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf's reopening plan, more people are leaving their houses. A City of Pittsburgh task force has proposed a number of ways that streets and transit could be modified to balance the demands of physical distancing with an increase in economic activity.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today they will stop development in the Lower Hill on the former Civic Arena site. The decision came shortly after the Urban Redevelopment Authority delayed a vote on the first project planned for the 28-acre site, an office tower for First National Bank.

Nisha Blackwell / Knotzland Bowtie

After nearly two months of lockdown, some area businesses can resume operations on Friday. Dozens of new state rules are meant to guide the reopening across much of southwestern Pennsylvania, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty, said Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

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