Development & Transportation

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

Archives & Special Collections / University of Pittsburgh Library System

Before highways and railroads crisscrossed the commonwealth, a series of linked waterways and inclined planes brought people and goods across the state. The Pennsylvania Canal was a significant engineering achievement when it was constructed in 1826.

Gensler + HDR in association with luis vidal + architects / Allegheny County Airport Authority


On today's program: Protecting people from the outbreak could have dire consequences for those sheltering in place with an abuser; and PIT will wait for a less volatile stock market to break ground on its $1.1 billion terminal project.

Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority and its board on Thursday passed measures to support people and businesses suffering financially because of the coronavirus. A new program that aims to keep people in their homes was among the approvals.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Transit agencies across the country are scrambling to keep up with the effects of coronavirus: MTA in New York City says it needs $4 billion from the federal government, operators in Detroit, Mich. held a walkout because of exposure concerns. Port Authority of Allegheny County is seeing rising costs, a drop in ridership, and worried employees.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Port Authority of Allegheny County will now disinfect its vehicles every 72 hours, an increase from its regular monthly schedule. Agency officials say it is a preventative measure to limit the reach of the coronavirus. So far, there are no confirmed cases in Allegheny County. 

Matt Slocum / AP

As of Monday, drivers in Pennsylvania who are picked up by cameras traveling more than 11 mph over the speed limit in a marked highway work zone will get a written warning for a first offense and fines for subsequent violations.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh wants to change a rule that requires rowhouses to provide off-street parking spaces. Legislation proposed by Mayor Bill Peduto’s office would drop the requirement from one spot to zero.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Lack of access to childcare has a tremendous impact on the Pennsylvania economy, according to a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. More than half of the 330 parents surveyed for the research said they’ve missed work because of a childcare problem. Others say they’ve delayed education or training, or left a job in order to care for a child.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Under federal law, Pennsylvanians have until October 1st to get updated IDs, or they’ll no longer be able to use their state identification to board planes or enter federal facilities and nuclear plants.

Pennsylvania officials say the state lags behind its neighbors when it comes to attracting new businesses and creating jobs. In a budget hearing Wednesday, lawmakers sought assurances that investments made by the Department of Community and Economic Development will pay off.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation oversees everything from road and bridge maintenance to mass transit. 

Brittany Reilly / Preservation Pittsburgh

Gracing Oakland with a spectacle of high arches, ornate pillars, and intricate stonework along its polished granite façade, the old Croatian Fraternal Union building at 3441 Forbes Avenue is one of two Pittsburgh sites on Preservation Pennsylvania’s 2020 At Risk list of endangered historic places.

Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilor Ricky Burgess says the city must take bold action to solve its affordable housing crisis. In 2016, a task force estimated a need for 20,000 units, which led to the creation of the Housing Opportunity Fund. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is part of a new initiative that aims to help municipalities attract equitable investment. The city is one of 13 to join the National Opportunity Zones Academy, a project created by national nonprofit Smart Growth America with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Barr Foundation.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA


On today's program: The Port of Pittsburgh needs more funding for repairs on all three city rivers; a cafe in Reading has become home to that community’s Latinx population; Allegheny County Council considers a police review board; and a touring collection of African American art lands at The Westmoreland. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: community residents have questions about big development in their neighborhoods; a jury has acquitted a man charged in connection with a 2016 mass shooting in Wilkinsburg; poverty has created a new type of swing voter; mild winters are bad news for ice fishers; and a Pittsburgh original makes a comeback to candy aisles. 


Small businesses owned by women and minorities are driving the redevelopment of Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. The board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority greenlighted six proposals for the corridor on Thursday.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved an amendment to the zoning code on Tuesday that's expected to help the city reach its climate goals.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The city of Pittsburgh has released a roadmap to make the city more friendly to bikes and other light modes of transportation. The proposed Pittsburgh Bike (+) Master Plan has been in the works for five years.

Pennsylvania State Police via the National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday on January's fatal Pennsylvania Turnpike crash in Westmoreland County. In the early morning hours of Jan. 5, five people died after a tour bus collided with an embankment and caused a chain reaction accident.

Caldwell Holden / 90.5 WESA

A group of Pittsburgh-area advocacy groups on Tuesday unveiled recommendations they say will make the Port Authority of Allegheny County more equitable. The #FairFares platform focuses on fare cost, payment process, enforcement and incentive programs.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

In the next few years, Port Authority of Allegheny County is preparing to make changes to its fare policy, its infrastructure, and how it connects to communities. But first, it wants to hear from residents. The agency launched its listening tour on Wednesday with three public meetings at the David Lawrence Convention Center. Each session began with brief presentations from Port Authority officials.


Update: The flush and boil advisory has been lifted as of Wednesday, January 22. PWSA advises residents who have not run their water in recent days to flush their taps for at least one minute before using water for cooking or drinking.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has issued a flush and boil advisory for the Crafton Heights, Elliott, Esplen, Ridgemont, and Westwood neighborhoods.

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

Water company Aqua America will acquire Peoples Gas for $4.3 billion, after state regulators approved the merger on Thursday. By February the two companies will do business under the new name “Essential Utilities, Inc.” 

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto and his administration want to shift the focus of economic development and investment in the city. Instead of relying on the Urban Redevelopment Authority to drive broad growth, city hall and city agencies must work together to ensure all Pittsburghers thrive, said Dan Gilman, the mayor’s chief of staff.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr


On today's program: PennDOT previews a full year of construction on Western PA roadways; aging infrastructure is putting river communities at risk of increased flooding; what it means to be "radically" body positive; a fond farewell to City Councilor Darlene Harris; and a local professor updates our understanding of Mars' topography.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

At the time when many of Pittsburgh’s streets were built, top travel speed was dictated by horses, and later, a trolley car at full tilt. 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Construction of Pittsburgh’s proposed bus rapid transit or BRT system is expected to begin in 2021, a year later than initially planned.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

 Uber is increasing its footprint in the Pittsburgh area with the purchase of a $9.5 million parcel to be used as a new test track for self-driving cars.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

McKeesport is one of the largest municipalities in Allegheny County after Pittsburgh, but has taken longer to bounce back from de-industrialization.