Development & Transportation

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

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.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a $12.3 million grant to renovate part of Pittsburgh International Airport.

The grant will go toward a deicing pad that has been in operation since 1993. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the renovation will include new pavement and piping.

Deicing is done during winter months to remove ice and snow from planes before takeoff.

Natasha Dean / Rescue Street Farms

A long abandoned social club in Spring Hill, roughly 2 miles north of downtown Pittsburgh, is getting a new lease on life. Nearly 20 years after the Workingmen’s Beneficial Union, or WBU, closed its doors, it will reopen as an event space and brewery this fall.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Four applications to revitalize neighborhoods and foster social and economic diversity passed initial scrutiny by the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday.

The URA is asking for a combined $1.5 million in state Keystone Communities Program funding to fill gaps in local resources. State decision makers will choose which, if any, projects they want to fund.

If approved, the money would be split four ways.

Kathleen J. Davis

Construction began Friday morning on Braddock Civic Plaza, a community space to be located on the former site of UPMC Braddock Hospital, which closed in 2010.

Pressley Gedman, Bike Parking Intern / Bike Pittsburgh

Bicyclists in the East End who want to transfer to a bus now have a new place to safely store their bikes.

Cyclists can park their rides at the East Liberty Transportation Center on Penn Avenue.

Dan Yablonsky, development manager for Bike Pittsburgh, said residents can use it like a Park and Ride for bikes, rather than cars.

"If you're from Highland Park, Morningside or Larimer, you can store your bike for the day, head downtown and then return at the end of the day, grab your bike and head home," he said.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh housing startup called Module is working on its first residential property, to be located in the North Side. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Johnstown City Council was supposed to vote Wednesday to adopt an amended recovery plan in order to stay in Act 47, Pennsylvania’s assistance program for financially distressed communities. The vote was tabled.

This month marks Johnstown’s 25th year in the program; the city wouldn’t be able to cover its expenses without the tools the program provides, such as being able to restructure debt and collect a higher local services tax. So why the hold-up?

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