Development & Transportation

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

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.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The 900 block of Liberty Avenue downtown in getting a makeover.

Renovations started Monday to add a temporary curb extension, bus lane and parking lane to the stretch. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Uber has resumed self-driving vehicle service in Pittsburgh following a crash.

The company briefly suspended their self-driving fleet Monday morning. Police say a car collided with a self-driving Uber SUV.

Two Uber employees who were in the SUV at the time of the crash and the driver of the car were not injured.

According to police spokeswoman Sonya Toler, the Uber driver was in control of the vehicle at the time of the crash. Uber says their self-driving vehicles returned to service late Tuesday morning following an investigation.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are hoping to help pedestrians with disabilities cross intersections more safely.

Their research project makes up the latest phase in the 5-year-old smart traffic signals initiative centered in East Liberty, where wait times for vehicles have been reduced by 40 percent.

In the first year of the project, researchers will focus on building an app that pedestrians could have on their smart phones.

The app would send personalized data about that individual’s movement patterns to a smart traffic signal at an intersection.

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. 

Alan Levine / Flickr

The Pennsylvania Turnpike has begun removing more than 1,000 emergency roadside call boxes because too few people use them now that nearly everyone has a cellphone.

The turnpike commission says it will save about $250,000 a year by removing the boxes, which should be gone by the end of the month.

The boxes were installed in 1988 and in the year 2,000 motorists used them more than 18,000 times to call for help. Last year, the boxes were only used 772 times.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

New challenges have arisen around transportation and infrastructure in the last decade, particularly climate change and innovations in technology, according to Department of Conservation and Natural Resources secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and state Transportation secretary Leslie Richards. 

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. 

Courtesy of the Allegheny County Airport Authority

A plan was unveiled Tuesday by the Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA) to modernize the 25-year-old Pittsburgh International Airport. 

Radiohead Made A Video For 'Lift' In A Lift

Sep 12, 2017
Sept. 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance

New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, will be forever linked by the grief of the 9/11 attacks of 16 years ago.  Soon, organizers are hoping to connect them with a biking and walking trails, as well as quieter roadways, that cover 1,300 miles. 

On Monday's anniversary, organizers cut the ribbon in Shanksville to open a new 21-mile segment of the trail.

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.

Was Pennsylvania Kayaker's Drowning Preventable?

Sep 9, 2017
Andy Arthur / Flickr

The death of a Cleona man who drowned this summer while kayaking on the Swatara Creek near Jonestown is a cautionary tale for those who enjoy the sport or are considering taking it up.

Google Maps

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.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

Pittsburgh's Public Safety Department plans to spend $5 million to upgrade and expand its citywide system of surveillance cameras.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the city council gave preliminary authorization Wednesday for a three-year $1.25 million contract to upgrade, maintain or replace many of the city's 225 cameras. Public Safety Department director Wendell Hissrich says they also plan to ask for about $3.8 million to buy and maintain 75 new cameras.

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.

Dion Hinchcliffe / flickr

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants opposes a plan to allow non-flyers to shop at the Airmall at Pittsburgh International Airport.

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.

Alcoa

 

 

Ford kicked off a battle in the U.S. auto industry in 2015. The body of its iconic F-150 truck went from being made of steel to being made of aluminum. Ford touted the benefits of aluminum in its advertising. Its lighter weight shaved 700 pounds off the F-150, improving fuel efficiency, and reducing tailpipe emissions.

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. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

An estimated 18,000 homes in Pittsburgh's northern neighborhoods, Millvale and Reserve Township will continue to be under a flush and boil water advisory until at least Thursday, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials said Tuesday.

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.”

John Miller / 90.5 WESA

After moving its headquarters to New York 11 years ago, iconic aluminum manufacturer Alcoa is returning to Pittsburgh, where it was founded, at the beginning of next month.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Affordable housing activists are calling out Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, saying he hasn't done enough to help low-income residents evicted from East Liberty's Penn Plaza Apartments.

Cristina Sanvito / Flickr

In a new venture, nonprofits Grow Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Land Trust are teaming up to preserve the city's urban farms. The Three Rivers Agricultural Land Initiative will give long-term support to select a handful of garden projects in the community.

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.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is ramping up efforts to teach boaters about safety at the region’s many locks and dams months after two women died while kayaking on the Ohio River.

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.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Susan Hicks, a University of Pittsburgh professor, was killed in October of 2015 when her bike was pinned between two cars on Forbes Avenue. Her death was a shock to Pittsburgh's biking community, which had advocated for changes to Oakland's busy roads for years.

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