Trolley-inspired bus shelter on Jayhawk Boulevard not happening as hoped; KU turkey burger wants your vote; chancellor in NYT

photo by: Mike Yoder

Tim Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs at KU, left, greets passengers exiting a motorized trolley car in front of Strong Hall Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. At right is KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. KU held a formal dedication ceremony for Jayhawk Boulevard, which is undergoing a four-year reconstruction project that includes rebuilding the roadway and replanting the historic tree canopy over it.

In 1948 workmen removed what was believed to be the last 60 feet of trolley tracks from the KU Loop that operated on The Hill from 1910 to 1933, according to In 2014, work on the Jayhawk Boulevard reconstruction project uncovered more remaining track that had been buried under asphalt and dirt. Back in October KU Parking and Transit announced a plan to incorporate those old track pieces into a new bus shelter on Jayhawk Boulevard designed to commemorate the bygone trolley era.

Plans called for a bus shelter featuring stone, wood, the old trolley track pieces, a long wooden bench in the style of the old trolley shelter, as well as displays on the history of the trolley line and related topics, according to KU. The shelter would be located between Bailey and Strong halls, near where the trolley shelter once stood.

It was hoped the new shelter would be constructed and in use this fall, but that’s not going to happen.

Building it was contingent on funding through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives program, which would have provided 80 percent of the cost for the $250,000 project, according to KU. I recently checked with associate director of KU Parking and Transit Danny Kaiser, and he said KU did not get that money.

“Unfortunately, the grant application was not funded. The project is on hold,” he said. “We will try again next time.”

Kaiser said that may or may not be next year, depending on when KDOT announces the next grant opportunity.

A few more notes from campus:

• Go, Gochujang Turkey Burger, go: It appears KU Dining is involved in another online contest for best entree. At a glance, this one does not seem to have the prominence of the great Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap run of 2013, when that KU favorite made it to the Elite 8 of the Cooking Channel’s college food bracket.

But KU Dining would love it if you would vote early, vote often for its Gochujang Turkey Burger, now a Top-10 Finalist in Jennie-O turkey’s “Who Burgered Better?” contest. The burger, served at Impromptu Café (the full-service restaurant inside the Kansas Union), is topped with a “tangy, spicy umami gochujang sauce (think BBQ with a Korean twist) and house-made rice wine pickled carrots,” according to the menu.

If I’m in the union at lunchtime I’m most likely by myself, eating a Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap (with jalepeños and the spicy sauce) over my laptop. Maybe I should class it up, actually meet someone for a sit-down lunch sometime and try this burger?

• Chancellor in NYT: KU assistant professor of communication studies Andrea Quenette made the New York Times last week. So did KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, in a separate article.

Gray-Little was one of three educators interviewed for a Q&A piece with the headline, “How Public Universities Are Addressing Declines in State Funding.” The others were University of California president Janet Napolitano and University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of higher education Clifton Forbes Conrad.

Gray-Little didn’t share any details we haven’t previously reported in the Journal-World, but it was interesting to see some of KU’s steps alongside the other schools’. KU is not alone in efficiency efforts, pursuing international students, and faculty frustration.

• I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at