Development & Transportation

We cover how people move about the region, as well as trends in housing and commercial development.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Dozens of Hazelwood residents and people from surrounding communities spoke out against a non-profit sponsored shuttle service at a public meeting Wednesday evening. Nearly 200 people joined the video call, which lasted just over two hours. 

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

The foundations behind the Hazelwood Green development site have proposed funding a long-debated shuttle between Oakland, Hazelwood and the former steel mill site. Almono LP released preliminary plans for the electric shuttle route Monday, ahead of public meetings to discuss the proposal.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: The Port Authority of Allegheny County is looking for a Director of Equity and Inclusion; and City of Asylum has a new executive director. 

PennDOT

A project to reconnect Pittsburgh’s Hill District to downtown is well underway about a year before its projected completion. The I-579 Cap Urban Connector Project will bridge the neighborhoods with a three acre park atop the existing highways.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Three Hill District projects are getting a boost from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. The URA announced $250,000 in grants Tuesday afternoon from its Neighborhood Initiatives Fund. 

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

A report published Tuesday makes the case for a low-income fare program for public transit in Allegheny County. Pittsburghers for Public Transit, a grassroots organization of transit riders, advocates and operators, called on the Port Authority of Allegheny County to allow the lowest-income riders to use public transit for free. 

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.


Pittsburgh developed from a hodgepodge of former boroughs and municipalities, and its hills and river valleys prevented planners from creating a traditional street grid. These factors make the city difficult to navigate in a vehicle. On top of that, local drivers have some idiosyncratic behaviors. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania as of Thursday is offering driver licenses and identification cards with a gender-neutral designation for people who do not want to be identified as either male or female.

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.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

Pennsylvania Turnpike officials have announced yet another toll increase — 6% beginning early next year — as well as a new 45% surcharge for non-EZ-Pass users whose tolls are assessed by mail based on their license plates.

Officials said the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission on Tuesday approved a 6% increase for EZ-Pass users as well those without passes in the “Toll by Plate" program. But they also approved an average 45% increase over the 2020 cash rate “to reflect the costs of collections for this tolling method."

Michael Dwyer / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday extended a statewide moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until Aug. 31, saying renters need more breathing room in the midst of the pandemic.

Eviction Ban Nears An End With Renter Aid Still In Pipeline

Jul 1, 2020
Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Federal emergency aid for renters in Pennsylvania hit hard financially during the pandemic is still in the pipeline as Gov. Tom Wolf's ban on foreclosures and evictions nears an expiration.

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.

Courtesy of Gensler + HDR in association with luis vidal + architects

Air travel looks different now, and not just because traffic has declined precipitously. Travelers at Pittsburgh International Airport, for instance, must wear face coverings and practice distancing, and staff have ramped up cleaning practices, all to combat spread of the coronavirus.

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 Slocum / AP

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission voted Tuesday to lay off 500 fare collectors and other toll workers and make the entire interstate network a cashless system.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County on Friday confirmed that it will receive nearly $100 million in federal funding for its Bus Rapid Transit project.

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.

Pennsylvania Extends Moratorium On Evictions, Foreclosures

May 7, 2020
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday extended a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions by another two months, saying residents should not have to worry about losing their homes during the pandemic.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

With much of the United States shut down in response to coronavirus, it’s hard to shake the feeling of living in a post-apocalyptic movie set: empty streets, empty buses, empty playgrounds wrapped with caution tape. Now, weeks into the effects of the pandemic, states have begun to lift restrictions to allow non-essential businesses to open.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Editor’s Note: On Tuesday, April 28, after this story was published, the state Supreme Court amended its previous stay on court actions and extended the prohibition on evictions and foreclosures until Monday, May 11.

In the early weeks of Pennsylvania’s response to the coronavirus, the state Supreme Court put a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. That protection runs out on Friday. 

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

 


On today's program: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation faces construction setbacks due to pandemic; one expert imagines what it will mean to reopen the state; local restaurants face uncertain futures; and poets maintain community during difficult times. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

2020 was shaping up to be a bumper year for home sales in the Pittsburgh region before real estate agents were forced into a holding pattern by the coronavirus pandemic; real estate did not make Gov. Tom Wolf’s original or updated list of life-sustaining businesses.

Buccini / Pollin Group

Since the response to the coronavirus put most of Pennsylvania’s economy on lockdown last month, Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has provided more than $3 million in emergency loans to support small businesses.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

In the space of just a few weeks the response to the coronavirus has forced people throughout western Pennsylvania and the world to overhaul their daily lives. The pandemic presents a dual challenge for transit agencies; they must continue to connect people to work, grocery stores and health care but with dramatically decreased revenue as ridership plunges.

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