Development & Transportation

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

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A disagreement over allowing double-stack trains through the North Side and East End of Pittsburgh is growing heated.

Pittsburgh International Airport

Pittsburgh International Airport's terminal redesign plan was unveiled Wednesday, and is expected to be approved by the Allegheny County Airport Authority Board of Directors at a special noon meeting. 

Paul Davenport / AP

Amtrak is modifying its Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, because of the impending winter storm.

On Wednesday, Trains 647 and 651 will terminate in Philadelphia. Train 656 will originate in Philadelphia and Train 620 is canceled.

Amtrak says Northeast Corridor service between Boston and Washington and points south will continue to operate as scheduled.

Amtrak passengers are advised to check on their train's status throughout the day.

Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

Community can exist in any place where two or more humans gather. Port Authority operator Jill Smallwood sees it at rush hour, as she drives the P1 route from downtown Pittsburgh to Swissvale and back again.

As her bus gets crowded, Smallwood can’t see all the way to the back of the bus, so she’ll appeal to her riders, “Do we have any room in the back?” Most of the time, they make space for one more.

90.5 WESA

Stapled to telephone poles and planted along the sides of roads, “We Buy Houses” signs have appeared in some Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The signs are relatively generic prompting some residents to wonder who is behind the advertisements. 

Google Maps

Second Avenue in Pittsburgh is a busy east-west roadway that takes travelers from Downtown through Uptown, past links to the South Side and Greenfield, and on through Hazelwood to the Glennwood Bridge. It’s an important route and fated to become even more critical due to developments planned along its length, such as the 178-acre Hazelwood Green site.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Construction on the Produce Terminal in Pittsburgh’s Strip District neighborhood is expected to begin in March. The work won approval from the board of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority Thursday.

Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

Modern existence requires a lot of signs: road signs, park signs, building signs, direction signs, special event signs. Plenty of signs could be ordered online, in this age of hyper-availability, but Allegheny County doesn’t outsource its written communication with the public; instead, the county runs its own sign shop.

MV+A Architects / Used with permission from LG Realty Advisors

Despite a rally and two hours of public comment Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved a development plan for the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty. The rally attendees and majority of public speakers were against the plan by LG Realty, urging the commission to only consider a plan that included affordable housing. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has set a new course for its future, in which its customers can rely on clean, safe water and rarely ever think about the authority headquartered at 1200 Penn Avenue. 

Courtesy of Lawrenceville United

Like most American cities, Pittsburgh needs thousands more units of affordable housing, but federal and state money to build those homes continues to shrink.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The mayor of Pittsburgh is looking to overhaul car towing procedures in the city, saying they don't want to force competition between towing companies.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Rachel Carson Bridge, also known as the Ninth Street Bridge, will close Monday, Feb. 11 through the summer of 2020, according to the Allegheny County Department of Public Works.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Last year was Pittsburgh's wettest on record, triggering dozens of landslides, forcing people out of their homes and costing the city millions in repairs. 

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Hundreds more affordable housing units stand to benefit from the Housing Opportunity Fund following Thursday’s advisory board vote.

PWSA To Spend $50M To Replace Lead Pipes

Feb 7, 2019
Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's water authority will spend $50 million to replace lead service lines, give filters to low-income residents, and take other steps to address the city's lead crisis under a settlement approved Thursday by state utility regulators.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

City officials will present an update on the project to renovate Smallman Street in Pittsburgh’s Strip District Wednesday night.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Understanding fare inequity and providing riders better tech tools are top priorities for the Port Authority of Allegheny County in 2019, CEO Katharine Kelleman says. 

Courtesy of Bike Pittsburgh

Bike Pittsburgh released its second-ever survey on how Pittsburgh cyclists and pedestrians feel about sharing the roads with self-driving cars. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh city officials say they have fired a salt truck driver who badly damaged a parked car in January and didn't report the crash.

Pittsburgh Department of Public Works Director Mike Gable confirmed the termination Tuesday but did not provide details. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the mayor's office indicates the termination occurred Friday.

Tim Tierney / Wikimedia Commons

Pittsburgh officials continue to discuss how to balance development and protect housing affordability, while legislation to do so has lingered in city council for more than a year.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

A federal grant may help municipalities in Allegheny County grapple with fallout from last year’s record rainfall and accompanying floods and landslides. However, the competition for funding is fierce, said Matt Brown, chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services.

“I don’t think that we’ll have a capacity to recover from a lot of the ... challenges that we have, but this is an opportunity that we don’t want to turn away from,” Brown said.

5 Reasons Why Autonomous Cars Aren't Coming Anytime Soon

Feb 4, 2019
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

In the world of autonomous vehicles, Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley are bustling hubs of development and testing.

Beth Hollerich / Allegheny County Airport Authority

Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis says federal TSA workers serving the region's two main airports are glad to be at work—and receiving a paycheck—since the government shutdown halted late last week. 

AP

Governor Tom Wolf is asking the Republican-controlled state House and Senate to sign on to a sweeping new infrastructure plan.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday that he will ask Pennsylvania lawmakers to approve a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production to finance a multibillion-dollar capital plan for a wide range of projects, from controlling floodwaters to fighting blight.

Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

Jill Smallwood has operated a Port Authority bus for nearly five years and says the learning curve is pretty steep. She found out the hard way that there’s a lot to pay attention to, both inside and outside the bus. 

MV+A Architects / Used with permission from LG Realty Advisors

Developer LG Realty Advisors presented final plans for the first phase of work at the former Penn Plaza site to the Pittsburgh Planning Commission on Tuesday. The company intends to build more than 300,000 square feet of office and retail space in the first of two phases of development on the roughly nine-acre site in East Liberty.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

By the end of March, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority must begin treating its water with a type of chemical called orthophosphate to lower lead levels.

Road Work Ahead

Jan 25, 2019
Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

Highways, streets, and sidewalks get most Pittsburghers to and from work. On this month’s episode of 90.5 WESA’s series Still Working, though, roads themselves are essential to the workplace. Jill Smallwood drives a bus for the Port Authority of Allegheny County. John Spellman operates the “Shady Dog” hot dog cart in Shadyside. And Steve Smith makes road signs at Allegheny County’s sign shop.

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