Development & Transportation

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

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Pittsburgh’s Planning Commission approved a zoning change that will allow the owners of a Shadyside shopping center to replace existing stores with a dense, multi-story retail and housing project.

Gensler

On Friday the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority cleared the way for the Pittsburgh Penguins to begin development of the former Civic Arena site in spring 2020. The particulars of the deal have been the subject of intense negotiation for years.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

On today's program: Southwestern Pennsylvania is hiring a couple hundred plow truck drivers; the Steelers say Mexico is their biggest international market, but others are growing; Pittsburgh Opera is encouraging patrons to use their cell phone during shows; and Pittsburgh International warns catfishing for airline fees is much more common than you’d think.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday moved to delay its vote on a revised development agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins, whose real estate affiliate holds exclusive development rights to the 28-acre former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A weathered stone structure sits quietly on the corner of Fifth and Bellefield avenues in Oakland as students, cars and buses hurry past. Six sandstone steps guide visitors to a big red door framed by black wrought iron fasteners.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced $44.4 million for 54 projects affecting coal-impacted communities in Appalachian states.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Environmental advocates gathered on Tuesday to discuss how to convince the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority or ALCOSAN that green infrastructure is the best way to significantly reduce sewage overflows in the region.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary caused some indignation on a recent visit to Wisconsin after saying small dairy farms may not survive a changing market.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh went to court Thursday to seek approval to swap land with the developers of the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty, but community advocates have concerns the deal could cut off public access to a park in the area.

Courtesy of Mitch Dakelman

The Pennsylvania Turnpike: the concrete connector of the commonwealth and America’s first superhighway. The roadway was once called the “World’s Greatest Highway” and helped lay the foundation for what would become the federal interstate highway system.

Michael Rubinkam / AP

The agency that oversees Pennsylvania’s state parks has released the preliminary version of a plan meant to govern the system for the next 25 years.

Pittsburgh Public Safety / Twitter

Authorities say a fire that severely damaged a Pittsburgh warehouse this week is considered suspicious.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

It’s called a "neighborway," fitting for a city famous for Fred Rogers and his neighborhood.

PennDOT

On today's program: John Fetterman says time is now for recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania; PennDOT is preparing to test autonomous cars in highway construction zones; and a preview of how libraries and librarians have had to adapt to keep up with changing technologies and expectations.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says the Elizabeth Bridge near Pittsburgh has been closed to traffic after a structural support bracket failed.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Shady Avenue in Pittsburgh will undergo nearly a year of scrutiny and planning to improve safety on the busy corridor. City officials partnered with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a regional planning body, to analyze crash data, traffic and amenities along the road.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Port Authority of Allegheny County expects to start service of bus rapid transit, or BRT, by 2022, and hopes to secure $99.5 million in federal funding to do so.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is squandering a financial windfall and missing out on the potential air quality improvements it could support, according to a new report from non-profits PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center and PennPIRG Education Fund.

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The developers proposing a Giant Eagle revamp on Shady Avenue in the East End presented their plans to the Pittsburgh Planning Commission Tuesday. The Shakespeare Street development has received some pushback.

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. 

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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.

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