Development & Transportation

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

Women Show Operating Snowplow Isn't Just A Man's Job

Jan 31, 2018
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Two former bus drivers have shifted gears to drive and operate snowplow trucks for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Krisa Walls of Georges Township was looking for a job to bring in a second income into her home when she decided to apply. The stay-at-home mom raised three children over 20 years, and her last job was driving a school bus.

"I wanted something with steady pay and benefits, and I couldn't really find anything around here," Walls said.

Browsing online, she saw the state Department of Transportation was looking for snow plow operators.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh residents filled City Council chambers Tuesday night to hear recommendations on how to restructure the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and provide feedback. The meeting was convened by the mayoral panel tasked with directing the authority’s reorganization.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, ALCOSAN, expects to design the expansion of its treatment plant this spring, with construction beginning in late 2019. 

Miller Library / Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

Our Good Question! series fields a lot of questions around Pittsburgh transit, from the history of streetcars to the creation of light rail. We pulled together a variety of questions for this short history.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Last September, the Allegheny County Airport Authority announced a $1.1 billion renovation to Pittsburgh International Airport. The Authority is now searching for an architectural and engineering design firm to spearhead the project. 

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.

Carlos Osorio / AP

Got a nasty tire eater in your neighborhood? The city of Pittsburgh wants to hear from you.

City officials announced Wednesday that public works crews will conduct a pothole “blitz” starting at 6 a.m. Thursday. They plan to work 12-hour shifts repairing potholes through Saturday.

In a press release, the Department of Public works said it already has a list of 300 reported potholes. Residents are encouraged to report additional potholes via the city’s 311 line.

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.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Katharine Eagan Kelleman began her new job Tuesday as the CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County. She takes over at a time when the transit agency has a lot on its plate, everything from a proposal to build a Bus Rapid Transit link between downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland and beyond, to devising a cashless fare enforcement system that doesn’t profile certain riders.

Richard Drew / AP

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


Skitterphoto / Pixabay

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is encouraging eligible customers to sign up for its new bill discount program, which launched this month.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In 2016, the city's Affordable Housing Task Force concluded Pittsburgh had a shortage of at least 15,000 low income units. 

Doug Brendel / Heinz History Center

Lewis Marascalco remembers the buzz he and his fellow engineers felt while they were working on a futuristic transportation system everyone was calling “Skybus.

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.

Matt Slocum / AP

The beleaguered Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is under review for the second time in less than two years.

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.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Housing prices in the Pittsburgh region are growing more slowly than the national market, a trend that is expected to continue in 2018.

 

According to Trulia's chief economist Ralph McLaughlin, Pittsburgh-area home prices grew just more than 4 percent in the second half of 2017, which was slower than the national market’s 7 percent growth. McLaughlin said that’s because our local population is stagnant.

 

Chris Gardner / AP

A new toll increase on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will go into effect Jan. 7, continuing a 10-year streak of price hikes.

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.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

A few major construction projects will take place on Pittsburgh's roads next year, according to PennDOT.

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.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

The head of Pittsburgh's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure has ambitious goals for 2018.

Karina Ricks wants to improve the city's street design and increase overall liveability next year to make Pittsburgh a safe place to live, work and walk. 

"The priorities are really to work toward what we call a 'vision zero plan,'" Ricks said. "We want to achieve zero traffic-related injuries or fatalities on our public streets, and that begins with making our streets much safer for all users."

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.

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