City of Pittsburgh

The first of two community meetings on the initial plan for the roughly 9-acre site will be held the evening of Wednesday, March 21 at Eastminster Church. The second is scheduled for Monday, April 16 at the same location.

After a months-long volley of information, Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning determined in February that the developer’s preliminary plan was complete. The land is owned by LG Realty Advisors, Inc.

Company president Lawrence Gumberg said last month they were eager to hear from the community.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Normally, playing on a highway is a bad idea, but a project to physically reconnect Pittsburgh’s Hill District to Downtown will soon install a walkable, bikeable park overtop the I-579 / Crosstown Boulevard Corridor. 

The Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports and Exhibition Authority is spearheading the I-579 “Cap” Urban Connector Project. It will erase a significant barrier in the city, said executive director Mary Conturo.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

A Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT system has been in the works in one form or another for more than a decade in Pittsburgh. It has been hailed as a way to make public transportation more efficient and more appealing, as well as a means to support economic growth in the region.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A contract to redevelop the Strip District’s Produce Terminal building is close to being finalized, city officials said Wednesday.

Dan Gilman, the mayor’s chief of staff, said it’s a complex deal but the parties were working through some critical final details with developer Dan McCaffery of McCaffery Interests.

“And Dan has to get his numbers to work,” Gilman said. “We’re asking for a significant investment of his money and the public’s money into this.”

The project is expected to cost $62.6 million.

After a months-long volley of information, Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning has determined that a preliminary plan to develop the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty is complete.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are appealing a decision from Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records, which on Jan. 24 ordered them to release their proposal to become Amazon’s second headquarters, or HQ2. 

The Department of City Planning is reviewing a development plan for the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty. It's the third version of the Pennley Park South plan to be submitted by owner LG Realty Advisors, Inc.

City of Pittsburgh

A new app lets Pittsburgh residents share their views on the city’s budget. Called “Balancing Act,” the program shows users where in the budget their individual tax dollars go and allows them to make their own spending recommendations.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records ordered the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County on Wednesday to release the region’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, or HQ2, ruling that the document belongs in the public domain.

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.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The Urban Redevelopment Authority board voted Thursday in a special meeting to extend the Penguins' deadline to begin development on the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill by another two weeks.

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.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Shortly after Connor Sites-Bowen moved to Pittsburgh in 2004, he got a little lost trying to get to Greenfield.

“I stopped and asked someone, I said, ‘I’m trying to get over here, which way do I go?’” Sites-Bowen said. “He said, ‘Oh, you go across the Greenfield Bridge right here and you go left where the Bruster’s used to be.’”

It was the “used to be” that stuck with Sites-Bowen. He said just like in any city, people rely on landmarks to get from one place to another, but in Pittsburgh, it doesn’t matter if the landmark exists anymore.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Ashley Morris often brings her 7- and 3-year-old daughters, Taniea and Ta’naea, along with her to run errands downtown. The 26-year-old can’t afford to fix her car, so they take the bus. Even though the line goes right by her place, she doesn’t like living in Hazelwood.

Pittsburgh Vehicle Fleet Gets Grant For Solar Power

Jun 26, 2017
Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is using a quarter-million dollars in state grants to launch its effort to have a fossil-free vehicle fleet but 2030.

The funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Alternative Fuels Grant program must be matched dollar-for-dollar by the city.

The first grant is worth $80,000 and will be used to purchase as many as 10 electric vehicles.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County kicked off its Lead Safe Homes Program last week, which helps residents identify and remove lead-based paint hazards in their homes.

The program consists of $4 million, partially funded by a grant through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Office, which will be used to provide lead remediation in 175 homes.

Liz Reid / 90.5 FM WESA

This is the third in a three-part web series looking ahead to 2017 with members of Pittsburgh City Council. Find part one here and part two here.

Google Maps/ 90.5 WESA

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in an appeal that could decide whether Pittsburgh police officers have to live in the city.

In 2012, the state legislature passed Act 195, which said a municipality may require officers to live in city limits. The previous statute said cities shall have a residency requirement.

A year later, Pittsburgh voters passed a referendum requiring residency.

The Fraternal Order of Police argued residency falls under the category of “working conditions” and is subject to collective bargaining.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Now that Mayor Bill Peduto’s 2017 budget has been approved by the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority Board, there are other hurdles to be cleared before it becomes law. They include coming up with at least $10 million in gaming revenue to balance the budget. In his monthly conversation with Mayor Peduto, 90.5 WESA’s Paul Guggenheimer dives into that topic and other aspects of his spending plan.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity


Pittsburgh Maker Faire

It’s Burning Man meets craft fair meets science fair meets art, said Pittsburgh Maker Faire Director Kayce Dewey.

Irina Zhorov / 90.5 WESA

For a city molded by its dramatic topography, Pittsburgh has admittedly been a bit neglectful of many of those simple structures that get people up and down the hills: steps.

But over the next year-and-a-half, city leaders are hoping to hear some innovative ideas from national experts on how they can repair and improve the city’s extensive system of staircases.

Though a design firm hasn't been chosen yet, $1.16 million worth of in-kind services furnished by the Citi Foundation means Pittsburgh won't have to pay anything.

Auntie P. / Flickr

The City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and area health and services organizations are collaborating on AIDS Free Pittsburgh, a three-pronged public health initiative.

“We’re going to normalize HIV testing," said Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department. "We’re going to make improvements in standardizing our linkages to care for those that are diagnosed, and we’re going to improve access to a variety of prevention tools.” 

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh and several organizations are teaming up to get a clearer picture of the region’s commuting habits.

The “Make My Trip Count” survey aims to get a comprehensive look at how people get to work or school or any destination – be it by bike, bus, rail, foot or car.

Pittsburgh's Zone 4 police are warning homeowners in Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze to be alert for thieves attempting to steal copper downspouts like those affixed to drainage gutters.

Commander Daniel Herrmann said he's collected more than 25  theft reports since June.

Following the release of recommendations from Gov. Tom Wolf’s Task Force on Municipal Pensions, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said that while the recommendations do not contain every pension change he’d like to see, it’s an important start.

“We wanted to see some movement on a hybrid model, defined benefit plan, and perhaps reform state Act 205 which gives funding to cities with distressed pension plans like Pittsburgh,” said Peduto’s spokesman Tim McNulty, “but, it was an important first step.”

Flickr user Ronald Woan

Mayor Bill Peduto said he receives weekly requests from American cities and abroad asking him to visit and tell the Steel City’s story of resilience.

He couldn’t possibly visit them all, so it’s convenient that 25 municipal, non-profit and business leaders from across the country are coming to Pittsburgh this week for the Innovative + Inclusive City workshop.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The American Civil Liberties Union and the City of Pittsburgh have reached an agreement on "cutting-edge" improvements to police hiring methods, including strengthening minority hiring procedures. The settlement agreement stems from a federal class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU in August 2012 on behalf of minority applicants who scored high in Pittsburgh Police testing but were passed over for job offers. We'll speak with Ellen Doyle, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.

Doyle says that previously, the city of Pittsburgh was being forced to diversify its ranks by hiring an African American and a woman for every four hires, as outlined in a Supreme Court order. She explains that this is no longer the case:

"The city was reporting for a number of years that [the police force] was disproportionately white in terms of the population of the city. But the difference between what happened with the prior federal lawsuit and what happened now is that the Supreme Court has seriously reduced the use of any race-conscious remedy." -Ellen Doyle 

Also on the program, after rioting and chaos in Ferguson and Baltimore, how should police departments adapt? How can departments encourage minorities to join the police force?

In an effort to bring down energy usage and cost, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) is planning to upgrade the lighting at five of its parking garages: one at the Pittsburgh Technology Center and four at Southside Works.

The URA and Green Building alliance will allocate $1 million for an upgrade to LED lights. That's after an engineering study showed it would be beneficial.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The city of Pittsburgh along with the Heinz Endowments has announced P4: People, Planet, Place and Performance — a framework for a model of redevelopment of city spaces.

It will consider the four “Ps” when looking at future development and will connect resources and initiatives already working in the city.

The city of Pittsburgh is looking for interns, and unlike in years past, all prospective interns must apply through the Department of Personnel and Civil Service Commission.

“It was not a centralized process or program at all," said Todd Siegel, director of the city's Department of Personnel and Civil Service Commission. "Each individual department should they have had a need for interns whether they be paid or unpaid went about securing their interns on their own.”

If they were paid, the personnel department was involved to process the paperwork.