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

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Mobility researcher Brandon Daveler has spent years learning how to design and build better powered wheelchairs. But starting a company to sell the first model that can be fully submerged in water required a whole new education. “Business owners are the only people that will work an 80-hour week to avoid working 40 hours a week for somebody else,” he laughs.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

After more than three months of negotiation, city of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials say they hope to present a new cooperation agreement to council and PWSA’s board of directors within the month. The deadline for the agreement was extended 60 days, from May 4 to July 5.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

In a whirlwind tour of regional infrastructure on Monday, the chair of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said Republicans and Democrats must find a way to rebuild the nation’s bridges, roads, mass transit and water and sewer systems.

This Is Not A Pizza And Beer Operation

May 1, 2019
Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

Moving can really test a friendship. (Why, dearest pal, am I carrying dozens of boxes filled, it seems, with bricks, to a third story walk-up on the hottest day of the year?) Such discomfort is traditionally smoothed over by food and drink. But professionals have a different approach, as Anthony Turner learned when he began working for a moving company more than seven years ago. Moving is “more than just putting stuff in a truck,” he says.

Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

For sugarmaker Matthew Emerick there are few things more lovely than maple syrup on pancakes. He’s a third-generation producer and can’t imagine spring without tapping the maple trees in the family woods. But he acknowledges the attributes of other tree syrups, even if they’re not for him.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

For a long time, Pittsburgh’s approach to development was to open the lid of the subsidy jar and throw out tax abatements like hard candies at a Halloween parade; new buildings eventually meant more tax revenue. Now, as interest in building in Pittsburgh continues to grow, the city wants to find a way to capitalize on it. That’s where inclusionary zoning comes in.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESAa

After three hours of almost entirely supportive public comment, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved a trial run for a new affordable housing policy on Tuesday. 

'Moving Is Essential To Life'

Apr 24, 2019
Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Helping someone move is often a favor done for a friend in a jam. By seemingly universal custom, the reward for this assistance is pizza and beer. But for some western Pennsylvanians moving is no favor; it’s part of the job. Personal trainer Nkem Chikwendu keeps other people fit. Mover Tony Turner makes sure clients’ possessions make it from point A to point B safely. Shoemaker Mario Ulizzi rebuilds and maintains quality footwear. And mobility researcher Brandon Daveler develops new wheelchair technologies.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A proposal to create a self-driving shuttle system between Oakland and Hazelwood continues to draw opposition from residents and activists. 

Matt Slocum / AP

The transition to an all-electronic tolling system has been nearly a decade in the making; the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission first commissioned a feasibility study in 2010.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Andrea Slozna is a guidance counselor at the Environmental Charter School in Regent Square, as well as a mom to two tiny people. Both her 3-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son required intensive medical attention after their births, but she was able to nurse both of them. It can be a bumpy road, feeding a new person with one’s body, especially when there’s so much pressure in the first few months of a baby’s life to ensure he or she gains weight, Slozna says.

City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections opened a digital service counter Tuesday with the launch of online licensing on its site, OneStopPGH. Department director Maura Kennedy described it as a “sea change,” and another step to “completely modernize” development in the city.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh delivers on sweeping views: hill views, river views, bridge views. Traveling toward Bloomfield across its eponymous bridge, for instance, reveals houses perched carefully on the lip of Skunk Hollow, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in neat rows and a convergence of the bridge, Main Street and Liberty Avenue: the Bloomfield Gateway.

Now, a view that hasn’t changed much over the last few decades could look dramatically different.

Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

Carly Penn left the stress and late hours of restaurant kitchens behind when she became a chef at UMPC’s Strabane Woods assisted living facility near Washington, Pa. At Strabane Woods, Penn works regular hours and knows well in advance what her menu is and how many portions she’ll prepare. But once a week, she relives her restaurant days with a Friday morning treat: made-to-order eggs.

URA

Executive Director Robert Rubinstein announced Tuesday he would leave his current post at the Urban Redevelopment Authority. A spokesperson said he is doing so for personal reasons.

'We Call Ourselves Sugar Makers'

Apr 3, 2019
Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

When maple sap emerges from a tree, it’s a long way from its prized place at the breakfast table. Sap has a disappointing sugar content, just 1 or 2 percent, and doesn’t taste sweet. Syrup-making hinges on removing most of the water in the sap, traditionally by boiling.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The addition of a food-grade chemical called orthophosphate to Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s distribution system is expected to lower lead levels for its 300,000 consumers within months. The change on Monday comes nearly three years after PWSA first exceeded the federal action level for lead in drinking water.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Nothing builds camaraderie like joining forces in a sticky situation. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Hazelwood Green has some of the most buttery pavement in Pittsburgh, and for the first time today that smooth ride is open to the public.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

After months of beta testing, Port Authority of Allegheny County launched its new website today

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Being spit on, slapped, sucker-punched, and threatened with guns were just a few of the violations endured by Port Authority of Allegheny County drivers between January 2015 and January 2019. 

Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

The production and distribution of food in the U.S. is a lot of work. The industry employed more than one in 10 Americans in 2017, the most recent year for which data were available.

Cars, They Don’t Break Like They Used To

Mar 27, 2019
Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Mike Kirsch has been working at Brunner’s Garage on the South Side for more than 43 years. Over his career, car repair has changed quite a bit, he says. Even smaller jobs, like replacing headlight bulbs or rearview mirrors, have become more time consuming and expensive. But it is not all bad. “New cars … don’t break like they used to.”

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

It’s not easy getting older: the wear and tear, the aches and pains; gravity is nobody’s friend. But the historic Produce Terminal in Pittsburgh’s Strip District just got a new lease on life: after five years of negotiations, developer McCaffery Interests has started renovation work.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Dentist Lorraine Callen sees a lot of patients at Allegheny General Hospital. Using special magnifying lenses, called loupes, she is able to see their teeth much better. It has also played havoc with her memory. She can’t always remember a patient by their name, but when she sees their teeth or an x-ray, “I can remember people's stories about their grandkids.”

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

This spring, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will embark on a massive new infrastructure project to replace its small water mains.

Google Earth

Pittsburgh’s Housing Opportunity Fund won approval for a new program: emergency rental assistance. The initiative was one of many greenlit by the board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority wants to replace lead service lines for families with moderate and low incomes.

The Right Tool For The Job

Mar 13, 2019
Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The English language is loaded with idioms related to tools: tightening the screws, burying the hatchet, and hitting the nail on the head, to name just a few. But for automotive technician Andrew McHaney having the right tool for the job is much more than a metaphor.

Gensler

After more than ten years of negotiations, plans and delays, the Pittsburgh Penguins intend to break ground on the 28-acre Lower Hill project in fall 2019.

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