Development & Transportation

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

daveynin / flickr

The Urban Redevelopment Authority has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell the Hunt Armory in Shadyside to three local developers.

Gene J. Puskar

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.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Details of Pittsburgh’s Amazon headquarters proposal won’t be released to the public because the city signed non-disclosure agreements with private developers.

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.

Matt Slocum / AP

There were fewer fatal crashes and more alcohol-related arrests on Pennsylvania's highways over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

State troopers investigated 981 crashes between Nov. 22 and Nov. 26. That's up from 931 during the holiday last year. Four of the crashes were fatal, down from six in 2016.

Police made 629 driving under the influence arrests compared to 610 last year. They say 85 of the 981 crashes were alcohol-related.

Police also issued nearly 16,000 speeding tickets.

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.

90.5 WESA

The group hired by the city to make recommendations on how to restructure the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has released its final report.

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.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh has a relatively concentrated downtown -- the distance between Firstside Park on the southern border and the David Lawrence Convention Center that hugs the Allegheny River is less than 1 mile.

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. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Affordable housing advocates say they’re concerned the consent agreement reached by the city of Pittsburgh and four neighborhood groups about the former Penn Plaza development site won’t actually help those who need it.

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.

An-Li Herring / WESA

Pittsburgh City Council is still searching for a way to pay for a fund it established last December to expand the supply of affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The Urban Redevelopment Authority board has voted to move forward with an amended development deal between the city and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. The proposal narrowly passed three to two, with Councilman Daniel Lavelle and former state Senator Jim Ferlo voting against the deal. Lavelle represents the Hill District.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Two months after announcing more than $1 billion in renovations to Pittsburgh International Airport, the Allegheny County Airport Authority is still seeking feedback from the public.

Amtrak's Lax Safety Culture Led To Crash That Killed 2

Nov 14, 2017
Andrew Harnik / AP

Amtrak's safety culture suffered major lapses, including more than two dozen unsafe conditions at a work zone where a train slammed into a maintenance backhoe last year, killing two workers, federal investigators said Tuesday.

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.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

The Urban Redevelopment Authority voted Thursday to give the city 555 acres of Hays Woods land so it can become a park.

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.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority can fix its delivery systems, manage its debt, and provide clean, safe drinking water while remaining under public control, according to recommendations from consultant Infrastructure Management Group, Inc.

Kathleen J. Davis / WESA

After a seven month long search, the Port Authority of Allegheny County has hired Katharine Eagan Kelleman as its new CEO.

Kelleman is filling the shoes of David Donohoe, who was hired as interim CEO in April after Ellen McLean left the position. 

For the past three years, Kelleman served as CEO of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, based in Tampa, Fla. While there, she said she helped bring the authority from a $5 million deficit to a $3 million surplus.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Base water rates in Pittsburgh will increase by 49 percent by 2020. The board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority also approved significant increases to 2018 capital and operating budgets in a special meeting Wednesday morning.

Emily Previti / WITF

In 2013, Pennsylvania created the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) program in hopes of spurring economic growth by allowing a few select communities in the commonwealth to reinvest tax dollars that normally would go to the state or local government.

The program aims to ignite investment in historically hard-to-develop neighborhoods by, for instance, allowing developers to use tax revenue to pay off things like construction debt.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Residents supported one another’s calls for affordable housing and a community-driven, transparent process in the development of a former industrial site in the Point Breeze North neighborhood at a public meeting in early November.

KitAy / Flickr

The City of Pittsburgh has reached a tentative deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins on redevelopment of the Lower Hill District. 

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