Development & Transportation

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

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh International Airport didn't get everything it wanted in a recent five-year, $97 billion reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. The sweeping package, signed by President Donald Trump in October, will fund the FAA through 2023. 

Kaily Love / 90.5 WESA

The region’s elected officials, civic leaders, businesses and residents can all agree on one thing: there has to be a better way to get to Pittsburgh International Airport than spending hours on the 28X.

90.5 WESA

Every day, roughly 300,000 people commute to Pittsburgh for work. They rely on city roads to get there and city police and fire to ensure their safety while they’re here, all of which costs money. But Pittsburgh, unlike Philadelphia, has no commuter tax to defray that burden.

John Minchillo / AP

If you’re looking to get rid of your Christmas tree, the city has 10 drop-off locations for tree recycling.

Rather than sending your spruce or douglas fir to the landfill, you can offer it to the Forestry and Environmental Services division of the Public Works department to be turned into pine mulch.

You can drop off your tree between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Dec. 29 through Jan. 26 at the following locations:

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Transportation Security Administration is reminding flyers not to pack drills, Magic-8 Balls or golf clubs in the carry-on bags this holiday season.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and his administration have been working on a vision to address the city’s most persistent social problems under a single organizing plan, OnePGH.

Matt Slocum / AP

Pennsylvania turnpike officials say they expect 6.3 million vehicles to travel the turnpike during the holiday period beginning Thursday until Tuesday, Jan. 1.

The turnpike commission says Thursday and Friday of this week are expected to be the most heavily traveled days, with 675,000 vehicles on the roadway each day. The lightest travel days on the turnpike are expected to be Dec. 29 with about 350,000 vehicles and Dec. 25 and Dec. 30 with about 410,000 vehicles each day.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

In Pennsylvania, unless you live in a big city like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg or Erie, your fire department is almost certainly made up of volunteers.

Uber Approved To Resume Autonomous Car Tests In Pittsburgh

Dec 19, 2018
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has approved Uber's request to resume testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads in the Pittsburgh area.

The approval, effective Monday and lasting for one year, comes about nine months after one of Uber's autonomous test vehicles hit and killed an Arizona pedestrian. Testing was suspended after March 18 crash in Tempe, Ariz.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Walking along Homewood’s major corridors may get a little easier: The Urban Redevelopment Authority has approved pedestrian improvements concentrated around Braddock, Hamilton and Homewood avenues. 

First Major Dollars From Housing Opportunity Fund Dispensed

Dec 14, 2018

The first major allocation of money from the Housing Opportunity Fund was approved Thursday. The loans will go towards more than 200 affordable housing units.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Port Authority buses and trains arrive on schedule less than 70 percent of the time, according to a new report from state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. While there’s room to improve, DePasquale acknowledged that the agency has come a long way.

In 2014, his office released an audit that covered 2007 to 2012. Port Authority’s fiscal house was really out of whack, he said.

“What gets me rolling is when you’re giving a former executive director free housing, a free car, while cutting routes,” DePasquale said. “That gets my blood boiling.”

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

An amendment passed Wednesday by Pittsburgh City Council would partially restore some of the proposed budget for the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Affordable housing activists cried foul when the original draft of the 2019 city budget slashed the URA’s funding by more than $5 million.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

At a rally Friday morning, transit activists called on the Allegheny County Port Authority board to change policies that they say hurt low-income riders. A letter was delivered to the Authority's board with 2,500 signatures asking for free transfers, no penalty on cash fares and fare capping.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s proposed 2019 capital budget could cut funding for the Urban Redevelopment Authority by more than $5 million. URA officials say that limits their ability to invest in neighborhoods.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

There are thousands of bridges big and small in Pennsylvania, and many are in need of replacement or repairs. 

Suprima Joshi, Xianfu Sun

In Bloomfield, at the confluence of four roads, one bridge, and 11 lanes of traffic, there stands a grocery store. Some see an invaluable resource in the Bloomfield ShurSave IGA, others an underused space, and some, an opportunity—the future is in the eye of the beholder. As well as that of any future developer.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

It’s been more than eight months since one of Uber’s cars struck and killed an Arizona woman while the vehicle was in self-driving mode. The company grounded its fleet while internal and federal investigations were underway. Now, Uber aims to return to testing on public streets.


Suiseiseki / Wikimedia Commons

Getting to work can feel like running an extended obstacle course: kids who refuse to put on coats, construction detours, bus delays. The prize? Doing it all over again the next day.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's bike sharing system Healthy Ride opened its 100th station in the city Thursday, at the corner of Penn Avenue and Winebiddle Street in Garfield.

Matt Slocum / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf said this week that he wants to change the way Pennsylvania pays for transportation.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Investigators say a broken rail caused a freight train derailment in Pittsburgh over the summer that disrupted service for weeks.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

From establishing historic districts to offering developers incentives to protect old buildings, Pennsylvania communities have a host of options to preserve their historic structures.

David Zalubowski / AP

Pittsburgh Public Schools board representative Kevin Carter says he did not sign a letter of support for Amazon’s HQ2 that bears his signature. And the solicitor for the school district, whose office procured that letter, says an investigation will begin immediately. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh was one of the first cities in the U.S. to experiment with the concept of a dedicated bus rapid transit system. Today, Pittsburgh’s three busways cover nearly 20 miles and help remove thousands of cars from the city’s congested highways.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Infrastructure is more than roads, bridges and water lines. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The opening pages of Pittsburgh’s bid for Amazon describe the region as proactive and innovative, and tout it as a place of partnership with an enviable cost of living. “The world’s most customer-centric company deserves a customer-centric home,” it reads. “In Pittsburgh, you will be our neighbor, and we will treat you like one.”

Elaine Thompson / AP

Pittsburgh will not be home to Amazon’s second headquarters, nor its third. On Tuesday, the company announced its plans to split HQ2 between two locations: Long Island City, in Queens, New York, and Crystal City, just outside Washington, D.C.

Kieran McLean / 90.5 WESA

What do Canada geese and scooter rental companies have in common? They both head south for the winter.

Google maps

Braddock is the latest municipality to struggle with elevated lead levels. Recent testing showed a spike above federal law. But, unlike a lot of places, the Braddock Water Authority’s pipes are likely not to blame.