Margaret J. Krauss

Development and Transportation Reporter

Margaret J. Krauss is WESA's development and transportation reporter. She previously worked for Keystone Crossroads, a statewide reporting initiative that covers problems facing Pennsylvania's cities and possible solutions. Before joining Keystone Crossroads, Margaret produced a 48-part radio series about Pittsburgh's lesser-known history, biking 2,000 miles around the region to do so.

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Keith Srakocic / AP Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins' development arm, Pittsburgh Arena Real Estate Development LP, is nearing its final deadline to start the first phase of development at the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District.

Elaine Thompson / AP Images

It was Sept. 7. A quick glance at the morning’s headlines revealed President Donald Trump had made a debt ceiling deal with Democratic leaders.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Nearly 200 residents filled the auditorium of Propel Hazelwood last week for the first community meeting of the Greater Hazelwood Neighborhood Plan.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s last large riverfront property, Almono, got a new name today: it will now be called Hazelwood Green.

The Regional Industrial Development Corporation, or RIDC, owns the site’s old mill building, Mill 19. RIDC’s Senior Vice President for Development Tim White said RIDC is negotiating a lease with the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, or ARM, to be Mill 19’s first tenant.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Technology alone won’t prepare people to build careers or pursue education in a rapidly changing economy.

That was the message from Google executives and state and local officials who gathered at the company’s Pittsburgh headquarters Thursday to announce new online tools and more than $1 billion in funding for nonprofits that seek to close gaps in education and the labor market nationwide.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

More than a decade after a master plan was completed for Allegheny Commons Park, a coalition is working to implement it.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED: Oct. 9, 2017 at 4:18 p.m.

Braddock residents crowded into a meeting Monday night to express their concerns with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan. It was the first of three meetings the Port Authority will hold in outlying communities whose service could be affected by the $200 million project.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

There’s nothing like a set of wheels when you’re in a hurry. On Thursday, the Port Authority of Allegheny County and Healthy Ride, Pittsburgh’s bikeshare network, announced a partnership to expand the available wheeled options.

Port Authority riders with a ConnectCard can now unlock a Healthy Ride bike for unlimited free 15-minute rides. Pittsburgh is the first U.S. city to offer free ride time to transit users, making it easier for people to get where they need to go, said David White, Healthy Ride’s executive director.

Margaret Krauss / 90.5 WESA

It’s been a rough couple of years for water in Pittsburgh: flush and boil advisories, billing issues and elevated lead levels, all stemming, in part, from a lack of investment in the organization as a whole over the past couple of decades. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, plan got a financial boost Monday from a regional planning agency. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission voted unanimously to add the $196 million project to its long-term transportation plan.

Mike Corder / AP Images

A route linking Chicago, Columbus and Pittsburgh is a semi-finalist in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, a competition to plan and build a new high-speed transit system to move people and goods. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

At a public meeting Tuesday, officials from Tulsa, Okla. and Indianapolis, Ind. talked about the dramatic changes their city made to the provision of water and sewer services. 

Margaret Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Between the nose of one of Uber’s shiny self-driving Volvo XC90s and one of Pittsburgh Tour Company’s hop-on-hop-off double decker buses was the cyclist. Through the windshield, his confusion was plain to see: He craned his neck, first left, then right, trying to see around the bus to figure out why it had come to a stop at a green light on Penn Avenue in the Strip District.

The car was working on the same question.

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Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Institute on Wednesday awarded $400,000 to projects throughout the 10-county region that tackle significant mobility issues.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority faces significant organizational issues—crumbling infrastructure, lead issues, steep debt—but soaring rates of short-term disability are not one of them, said interim executive director Bob Weimar.

Courtesy of Walsh Construction

One of the largest public-private partnerships in Pennsylvania, the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, is nearing the end of its construction phase. The project promised to provide Pennsylvania with 558 brand new bridges to replace aging structures by 2018.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will burden communities that most depend on public transportation with higher costs and less frequent service, according to protesters who gathered Thursday in Braddock to speak out against the plan.

Margaret Krauss / 90.5 WESA

On a recent afternoon, Steve Kubrick climbed to the brand new roof of one of his buildings to look at the last seven years of his life, poured into rebuilding the former Alcoa Research Laboratory in New Kensington. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Before presenting initial findings on the state of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Monday, Steve Steckler of the consulting firm Infrastructure Management Group, Inc. said, “none of them are very good.”

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

It may not look like anything’s happening at the Produce Terminal in Pittsburgh’s Strip District neighborhood, but the building's developer expects to ink a final contract with the Urban Redevelopment Authority and begin renovation by the end of the year.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Uber has scrapped plans to lease space in one of three remaining buildings on the 28-acre Almono site where the company’s test track for self-driving cars is located.

Uber signed a lease last spring for a portion of the roundhouse building, which once housed trains for repairs and maintenance.

Cost estimates to renovate the roundhouse came back significantly higher than expected and the building has been reabsorbed into the larger Almono development plans.

Uber declined to comment on the record about the decision.

Natasha Dean / Rescue Street Farms

A long abandoned social club in Spring Hill, roughly 2 miles north of downtown Pittsburgh, is getting a new lease on life. Nearly 20 years after the Workingmen’s Beneficial Union, or WBU, closed its doors, it will reopen as an event space and brewery this fall.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Johnstown City Council was supposed to vote Wednesday to adopt an amended recovery plan in order to stay in Act 47, Pennsylvania’s assistance program for financially distressed communities. The vote was tabled.

This month marks Johnstown’s 25th year in the program; the city wouldn’t be able to cover its expenses without the tools the program provides, such as being able to restructure debt and collect a higher local services tax. So why the hold-up?

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

After years of negotiations, road and utility work, and site preparation, redevelopment could begin on the 178-acre Almono site as early as next week.

On Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf toured the Almono site, which sits along the Monongahela River and is Pittsburgh's largest remaining brownfield. The tour's highlight was the old Mill 19 building, which extends for nearly one-third of a mile—a vast building on a vast piece of land. Just outside the building is the newly finished Signature Boulevard, a complete street with room for cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. 

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania could see more resources to combat the opioid crisis if President Donald Trump heeds a federal commission, which advised him earlier this week to declare a national emergency.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Development and rehabilitation projects throughout Pittsburgh continue to change the city’s fabric. City Council voted Monday to ensure historic structures are protected in the process.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A large granite stone fell from the corner of the historic Frick Building in downtown Pittsburgh early Sunday morning, crashing into the crosswalk below.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft began operating in Pennsylvania cities in 2014, but have had divergent effects on public transit agencies in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Every day in Pittsburgh money comes in and money goes out, paying for police, firefighters and street lights. Anything that’s visible, and some things that aren’t, all have a place in the city’s budget. At its core, a budget is simply an itemized rundown of likely income and expenses, the contents of which a committee will begin to hash out in August, and by December, City Council will take a final vote.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The historic Hunt Armory in Shadyside has been through a lot. It housed weapons and a unit of the Army National Guard, hosted home shows and polo matches, survived a fire in 2010 and a failed redevelopment attempt in 2016.

Those plans, for an Olympic-size ice rink and cafe, were sunk by lack of funding. In May, the Urban Redevelopment Authority requested new proposals that preserve the building and provide community recreation space.

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