Development & Transportation

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

Green Boulevard Strategic Plan

A lot can change in five years.

In March of 2013, the city, working with private partners and the public, completed a $1.5 million, federally-funded plan to rejuvenate the neighborhoods along a 6-mile stretch of the Allegheny River, from Downtown through Highland Park.

Patrick Doyle / 90.5 WESA

Seven cars from a freight train derailed and crashed into the Station Square light rail stop on Sunday afternoon, causing extensive damage, according to Norfolk Southern officials. That number was updated from the original four cars said to have derailed.

Housing Boom In State College Spurs Debate Over Changing Character Of The Town

Aug 2, 2018
Keystone Crossroads

Ron Madrid stood in his front yard a few blocks from downtown State College, motioning to the houses and apartments in the neighborhood, comparing the homeowners and the renters.

“When people take care of their property because they own it, that’s much different than if you’re just renting,” Madrid said. “Walk down the street, and you can say: rental, rental, somebody lives there, owner-occupied, rental.”

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Business owners, residents and commuters seemed equally displeased with a plan to reconfigure Smallman Street, presented Tuesday night in the Strip District. The overhaul of a five-block stretch of the boulevard dovetails with the renovation of the Produce Terminal.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

At its last regular meeting before an August recess, Pittsburgh City Councilors voted to approve new, permanent zoning for Pittsburgh's 35 miles of riverfront. 

Kathleen Davis / 90.5 WESA

After an emotional day in the City County Building, Pittsburgh City Council voted 7-2 to approve UPMC’s expansion of its Mercy campus in Uptown. The decision came after nearly two hours of public comment from community members opposing the plan.

City of Pittsburgh

The concept of accessory dwelling units—small, self-contained homes built in, on or near existing homes—has been sweeping the nation as a novel way to create more housing and temper hot markets

Depiction, LLC

In a presentation to the Pittsburgh Planning Commission this week, the project manager for Hazelwood Green said the 178-acre development could be transformative for Pittsburgh. 

Sarah Kovash

A handful of Uber’s autonomous vehicles returned to city streets Tuesday, but self-driving mode has been disabled. Instead, each car is being piloted the old-fashioned way: by a human driver with both hands on the wheel. The move comes as Pennsylvania issues new guidance for highly autonomous vehicles.

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has issued a precautionary flush and boil advisory for some streets in the Brighton Heights and Marshall-Shadeland neighborhoods. 

The authority says the advisory is due to low water pressure after a 16-inch water main broke 2 a.m. Monday.

While the main has been fixed and water pressure has since been restored, PWSA says it's procedure to issue a water advisory out of caution.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

By Mayor Bill Peduto’s estimate, some 20 companies have expressed interest in the water side of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. But that tumble of overtures has been absent an integral part of PWSA: sewers.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

As the lights went down in the O’Hara Township council room, Peoples Gas CEO Morgan O’Brien began narrating a short video he’d brought to chambers.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council wants to rewrite a cooperation agreement with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to change how it's governed

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Despite laying off 100 self-driving car operators last week, Uber said it still plans to have its autonomous vehicles back on Pittsburgh's roads this summer.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

People with low or moderate incomes are often the most transit-dependent—they rely on public transportation to access critical daily needs—but the least able to bear the cost

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


It's easy to get lost navigating Pittsburgh. Cars ascend and descend sloped roads at angles and maneuver countless one-ways and alleys. Because much of the city is arranged in this disjointed manner, moving through neighborhoods can feel emblematic of the Steel City.  

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council approved a revenue stream for the Housing Opportunity Fund in December 2017, and last month approved members of an advisory board. They met for the first time on Friday. Those 17 people are charged with figuring out how to allocate the fund’s first $10 million in the next six months.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Peoples Gas announced its intent last week to get into the water business, though exactly how it plans to partner with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is unclear. A heated discussion in Pittsburgh City Council Tuesday revealed councilors don’t really know what to make of it, either.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers have collected and sent millions of pounds of humanitarian supplies to Puerto Rico since the island was struck by hurricanes Irma and Maria last September. Efforts are ongoing, and have been led by Brother's Brother Foundation and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Researchers Aim To More Accurately Gauge Broadband Availability In PA

Jul 6, 2018
Min Xian / Keystone Crossroads

In his office on Penn State’s main campus, Sascha Meinrath, a professor of telecommunications, tested his internet connection.

Matt Slocum / AP

The Pennsylvania Turnpike approved a 6 percent increase for toll road drivers at its bi-monthly meeting Tuesday, affecting both E-ZPass and cash-paying customers.

The most common toll for a passenger vehicle with an E-ZPass will go from $1.30 to $1.38, according to the commission. The same cash fare would rise from $2.10 to $2.25.

Peoples Water

At an O’Hara Township council meeting Tuesday night, Peoples Natural Gas CEO Morgan O’Brien presented a conceptual plan to build a new water treatment plant on a stretch of local riverfront property.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Trust is a touchy subject with Jules Lobel.

“I’ve sued every president since Reagan. And they all said ‘Trust me.’ I don’t believe in trusting executive officials.”

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Transit in Allegheny County should be equitable, connected to affordable housing, a conduit for economic opportunity and a means to improve regional air quality, said riders and a coalition of organizations who presented a new mission for transit this week.

Jakob Lazzaro / 90.5 WESA

Route 30 is open to traffic again following the April landslide that destroyed a 300-foot section of the road near East Pittsburgh. Repairs included shoring up the collapsed hillside, installing a replacement drainage system, and adding a retaining wall anchored by steel piles at the base of the hill.

Pennsylvania's Population Quickly Becoming Older, Slowly More Diverse

Jun 26, 2018
U.S. Geological Survey

Following national trends, Pennsylvania’s population is getting older and slowly becoming more diverse according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nearly one-third of all Pennsylvania residents were 55 years or older in 2017, ranking it seventh among states for the highest median age in the country at about 41 years old. The national median age is 38 years old.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

If a state agency approves new rates proposed by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, residential customers could see their bills increase by 16.7 percent next year, but remain the same in 2020. That would be an increase of $10.61 for a typical household using roughly 3,000 gallons a month. 

That's a smaller increase than the agency once envisioned for 2019 and 2020.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Port Authority of Allegheny County crews are working around the clock to restore light rail service on the Blue Line, said spokesperson Adam Brandolph. Heavy rains and flash flooding Wednesday night washed out track supports and damaged power lines.

Margaret J. Krauss

The city of Pittsburgh continues to resist calls to release its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, or HQ2. At a protest Thursday skeptics said they worry about Amazon’s potential impact on housing, transit and existing inequities. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The city of Pittsburgh's Housing Opportunity Fund is one step closer to investing in affordable housing.

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