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.

Ways to Connect

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Just more than 9,000 people live in Aliquippa. It was once the economic heart of Beaver County, but the collapse of steel in the late 1980s and early 1990s decimated the city. Some people say Aliquippa’s been dying a slow death ever since, but its leaders disagree.

Richard Drew / AP

Amazon announced Thursday that Pittsburgh is among a list of 20 finalists for the tech company's second headquarters.


Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto met Wednesday with the panel he selected to evaluate how to address problems at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. Both parties agree that the most important issue to tackle is governance.

 

That means hiring a lawyer, said the panel’s chair, Jared Cohen.

 

“To work with us to figure out what kinds of contractual provisions and other legal amendments have to be made in order to make those governance changes,” he said. “It's fairly technical legal work.”

 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

On Wednesday, Mayor Bill Peduto will meet with the panel he appointed to evaluate how best to restructure the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. After nearly six months of work, that panel issued its report at the end of December.

While the mayor said he largely supports the panel’s recommendations, he said its members left out one important consideration in selecting a best course of action for PWSA.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Rosyln Place is a 250-foot cul-de-sac street in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood. Such an abbreviated street doesn’t demand much attention, but Roslyn Place carries the unusual distinction of being made of wood.

While City Council approved a historic designation for the street last May, the 18 houses surrounding the street enjoyed no such protection.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Plenty of cities have bike share programs: pay-as-you-go bikes that riders check out from a docking station, ride wherever, and then return to any open station. Now, dockless bike-share systems are rolling out in the U.S.

While these bikes have the same goal as their predecessor—to offer a quick, cheap means of traveling between transit hubs and riders’ final destinations—they feature one major difference: no docking station needed.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Excitement permeated a big ballroom in Alumni Hall on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus Thursday afternoon, where companies and public agencies gathered to share new ideas and innovations for transit.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Over the course of 2017, the long-discussed development of a 28-acre parcel in the Lower Hill District moved one step closer to realization.

After months of negotiation, the Penguins organization—which holds exclusive development rights to the land—the city, Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports and Exhibition Authority agreed to new development terms in December.

Just how long the site has been on its way to shovels in the ground is measured best in decades rather than years.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The federal tax overhaul bill signed into law by President Donald Trump last week caps the allowable local and state tax deduction at $10,000. So a lot of people in the region are lining up to pre-pay their property taxes to maximize the deduction they take in 2017.

While Allegheny County has accepted pre-payment of real estate taxes for years, usually 10 or 12 people show up, said Kevin Fischer, deputy treasurer for Allegheny County.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

After months of consultant presentations, public meetings, reports and data evaluation, the mayoral panel selected to judge how to restructure the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority released its report Thursday.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Stretching roughly from the edge of Panther Hollow to the base of Greenfield Avenue, the neighborhood of Four Mile Run is low-lying and has endured repeated flooding over the last several years.

1sock / Flickr

The board of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has adopted a tenant protection policy, as part of the city larger efforts to safeguard and preserve affordable housing.

The URA’s tenant protection policy creates three additional responsibilities for landlords before they can end tenants’ leases: it gives tenants more time to move out, requires relocation assistance if multiple leases are being terminated, and requires landlords to notify local government of evictions.

More notice is always better, said Tom Cummings, director of housing for the URA.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

A significant water main break in Pittsburgh’s East End led the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to issue a precautionary flush and boil advisory affecting 7,000 households. It's the third advisory this year.

Google Maps

The $17.5 million Workingmen’s Square Hotel has been eight years in the making.

The 96-unit hotel will be built on a vacant lot near the junction of East Ohio Street and Madison Avenue on the North Side. 

It's a highly visible corner, said Mark Fatla, executive director of the Northside Leadership Conference. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The developer of the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty has submitted a revised plan for its development.

Ronald Woan / Flickr

After nearly four years of work, the Pittsburgh Land Bank remains a divisive issue.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh’s riverfronts host a vast range of activity: industrial, residential and recreational. That diversity lends vitality to the 35 miles of riverfront along the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, but it’s bedeviling for zoning, said Riverfront Development Coordinator Andrea Lavin Kossis.

“The zoning that already exists isn’t always doing a great job with the different kinds of developments that are coming these days," she said. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Swissvale council member Julie Grose drives to the top of Grand View Golf Course in North Braddock. From up there she can see all of Braddock, the Monongahela River, and on a clear afternoon, east to Oakland and downtown.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A nearly 80-year-old public housing complex in the Hill District is in the running for millions of dollars of federal redevelopment funds as the community nears the end of a two-year planning process.

Google Maps

A local law firm decided to dig into PennDOT crash data to visualize the most dangerous intersections in Allegheny County. The study identifies 787 intersections that had five or more crashes from 2014 to 2016.

Dallas W. Hartman P.C. represents a lot of collision cases, and wanted to raise awareness about areas around the county where drivers are more likely to crash, said attorney Dallas Hartman.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Maintaining safe drinking water requires rigorous testing, and regulations from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency require reports on those tests at regular intervals: some daily, some monthly, some yearly.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A wood-plank bridge crosses the Stonycreek River in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and leads to the lower boarding platform of the city’s incline. A red car on a steeply angled track whisks passengers 500 feet up a hillside. The short ride offers sweeping views of the city, and the quickest way to understand Johnstown’s sewer problem.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

There’s a lot of public space in Pittsburgh: parks, plazas, medians. But the public spaces people use the most are streets, which make up nearly half of Pittsburgh’s public space.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is setting aside $1.8 million to assist low-income customers by replacing the private portions of their lead service lines.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

City officials want to push the restart button on an old idea: establishing connectivity between Oakland and neighborhoods to the south. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is many kinds of city: it’s a sports city, it’s a robotics city, it’s a ketchup city. But at its most essential, Pittsburgh is a city of steep hills. In the early 1900s, public staircases were built all around the city to help people navigate challenging terrain. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Protection for current homeowners, affordable housing and job creation remain among the Hazelwood community’s primary concerns, especially as residents move forward with the neighborhood planning process that kicked off last month.

About 50 people gathered at the Spartan Center on Tuesday night for discussion of the plan, which is being spearheaded by the Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative. The GHCC comprises 27 community groups, as well as city and state officials.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

From a transportation perspective, Pittsburgh has a lot of challenges: narrow streets, steep hills and aging infrastructure that needs maintenance.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Over the next three to five years, more than 200 affordably priced apartments and homes could be built in East Liberty and Garfield as a result of the negotiations surrounding the demolition of Penn Plaza, according to Rick Swartz, executive director of the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A decision on the Penguins’ amended development plan for the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill has been delayed until next week.

While the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Allegheny County approved the new plan, it still needs approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

URA Chairman Kevin Acklin acknowledged the new plan wasn’t circulated to board members until late Wednesday night for a Thursday vote. At the request of City Councilman Lavelle, who also sits on the URA board, Acklin did not ask for a vote.

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