Development & Transportation

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

KATHLEEN J. DAVIS / 90.5 WESA

The Federal Railroad Administration says “serious oversights” led to last year’s train derailment near Station Square.

A report released on Thursday by the agency finds that a broken rail track led to the derailment, on Aug. 5, 2018.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Beginning next year, the Port Authority of Allegheny County plans to extend bus service in some areas to 24 hours a day. According to the agency's CEO Katharine Kelleman, the change is meant to help night shift workers get to and from their jobs. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Firefighting is a dangerous job — it’s also an enormously expensive one. 

Individual gear, breathing apparatuses and even the tires for a fire truck can cost thousands of dollars. Something as big as a new fire engine could easily cost half-a-million dollars. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A robot cut the ribbon at the groundbreaking for a new technology innovation facility in Hazelwood Wednesday.

Keith Srakocic / AP

On today's program: How Pittsburgh's community gardens embody neighborhood flair; what it means to study osteopathic medicine; how the city's micromobility priorities are evolving; what the Allegheny Conference is considering to re-brand Pittsburgh; and why Allegheny County has few options to replace voting machines ahead of the 2020 election. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

How we get from one place to another can have a big impact on our lives. Conjure up the feeling of sitting in a hot car, stuck in gridlock, and compare it to taking a short bike ride to work or to meet a friend. 

Google Maps

In 1918, the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania gifted the city of Pittsburgh a 10-acre stretch of green space that sits right on the dividing line between Homewood and Point Breeze North. The land had once belonged to American inventor George Westinghouse, and the new city park was named after him.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Ahead of the Labor Day weekend, a new study shows how much people in all 50 states “labor” on average to fill their gas tanks.

The price-tracking website Gasbuddy found people in the commonwealth need to work an average of 86.6 hours annually to fill their gas tanks.

That’s lower than most states, including neighboring Ohio and West Virginia.

Rachel McDevitt / WITF

Over the past couple of years, Strasburg Township’s zoning office found itself fielding more and more requests from Amish to house horses on residential lots.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is marshaling more money to help pay for better water treatment in suburban Philadelphia communities where testing has shown tap water contaminated with toxic industrial compounds used in products like nonstick cookware, carpets, firefighting foam and fast-food wrappers.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh needs more housing, but housing that reflects what neighborhoods want and need. That was the driving sentiment behind a meeting in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood Tuesday night, where attendees discussed ways to influence the development process.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh officials have announced efforts aimed at shaping the city’s transportation future, from a pilot program aimed at linking modes of transit to long-range plans. City leadership has been intentionally slow to adopt personal modes of transport such as electric scooters, but it welcomed companies interested in testing autonomous vehicles; a self-driving shuttle to connect Oakland and Hazelwood remains a possibility.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

After nearly three years of work, Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure will present a draft of a new bike plan this fall. The work is part of a wider effort to rethink city streets.

Centre Avenue Corridor plan / evolveEA

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority wants to bring more people into the redevelopment of Centre Avenue in the Hill District. The agency is seeking ideas for mixed-use development across 170 mostly vacant parcels.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Across numerous departments and agencies, Pittsburgh officials have begun to rethink city streets: how they’re used, and who they’re for. 

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

On today's program: Red Whittaker explains his journey from childhood rocket-building to roving the moon; pregnant women could be at higher risk for mental illness if they live near a fracking site; former employees of a popular Wilkinsburg coffee shop have accused the owner of sexual harassment; and if Kraft-Heinz ditches the football stadium on the North Shore, who's next to plant their flag on Pittsburgh football? 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Along Fifth Avenue where Pittsburgh’s Oakland and Hill District neighborhoods meet, sit the remnants of concrete foundations and staircases. Trees and wildflowers wrap around broken brick walls and peak through crumbling retaining structures all the way up the hillside.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh is preparing for significant population growth over the next 50 years. On Monday, the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure announced its 2070 Transportation Vision Plan as one way to meet that future.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Lead levels for Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority remain higher than the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. However, the latest rounds of test results revealed that a chemical additive has reduced lead in water.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Transit police with the Port Authority of Allegheny County are not working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, CEO Katharine Kelleman said at the agency’s board meeting Friday morning. The Trump administration has repeatedly threatened increased raids on people without documentation and businesses who hire those without work permits.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

In recent months, more and more people connected to the world of self-driving cars have tempered expectations about their future. 

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

South Hills transit riders can expect delays for about a month as the Port Authority of Allegheny County replaces light rail tracks and pavement. Work will begin Friday and end Aug. 22.

Google Maps

The Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood will be overhauled in 2020. Redevelopment of the Shady Hill Center is expected to demolish the existing 4.9-acre shopping plaza to build new retail, apartments and a smaller Giant Eagle.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The benefits driverless technology could create for cities are murkier than they seem, according to a new report released by Pittsburghers for Public Transit at a meeting in Hazelwood Thursday.

Ariel Worthy / WESA

Residents from Lawrenceville told Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday that they were happy to see inclusionary zoning coming to their neighborhood. 

Matt Slocum / AP

Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be going up 6 percent next year for both E-ZPass users and cash customers.

Turnpike officials announced Tuesday that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission had approved the increase slated to start Jan. 5 on all sections and extensions except for three "cashless" toll facilities in western Pennsylvania.

Officials said the increase is needed to meet escalating debt service costs and to maintain aging roads.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

After a year of confusion and concern, residents of a low-income senior housing community in Penn Hills met with management to discuss a protracted mold problem on Friday.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority continues to build out the programs enabled by the city’s Housing Opportunity Fund.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Every night, 70-year-old Jeanne Delancey goes to sleep beneath a dinner plate-sized patch of mold that surrounds a vent on her bedroom wall.

“I tried to clean it, you can’t even clean it. It doesn’t come off,” she said.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh lags behind other cities in testing micro-mobility options such as stand-on electric scooters. However, a blockbuster year for bikeshare program Healthy Ride shows a growing demand for personal transit, one executive director David White wants to meet.

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