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

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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 kuhistory.com. 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.

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.

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. by Mike Yoder

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.

None by KU Dining Services

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 sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Comments

Perrin Blackman 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm surprised that modest yet functional bus shelters weren't built in to the Central District plan. All that renovation and students are still standing in the rain.

Kevin Kelly 1 year, 9 months ago

Hopefully the bus routes will include picking up the students with a stop at the beautiful new buildings (I was told most students won't have cars so they don't need much parking, there was a study). Off campus students park for FREE in the nearby neighborhoods across the street and walk to the closest bus stop. FREE PARKING is something KU can't seem to offer anywhere whereas our residential neighborhoods now shoulder the FREE KU parking and traffic burden.

Jillian Andrews 1 year, 9 months ago

The neighborhoods around the campus have always dealt with KUers parking there. This is nothing new.

Kevin Kelly 1 year, 9 months ago

My point EXACTLY!!! Why hasn't KU and the city learned from the past and moved forward with better ideas and FREE parking lots to help alleviate the neighborhood parking and traffic situations as they have grown and multiplied? What happened to "Park and Ride" and why can't they come up with a FREE lot where you can park and take the bus? Ignoring the KU parking situation and allowing KU to continue to take advantage of the local neighborhoods does NOT help the residents of Lawrence. Parking is just another KU money making scam designed with planned scarcity to enhance the KU cash flow.

Jeremy Arthur 1 year, 9 months ago

When you moved into the neighborhood did you not happen to see the giant university right across the street?

Proximity to KU is a benefit to your neighborhood, not a hinderance.

Kevin Kelly 1 year, 9 months ago

Simple answer is YES, it was great for 20 years! There was a soccer and softball field, along with affordable housing for KU families. I HAD a wonderful view of the Fieldhouse.

What I did not see is the 2,000 person student dorm additions DIRECTLY across 19th St at Ousdahl with inadequate parking (more people than we have living in our neighborhood). Why wouldn't KU anticipate extra parking needs instead of asking (and getting with no contest) a variance to have less parking than required for the new buildings?

Ousdahl ended at 19th St and did not connect through north to 15th St when I bought my home. Couldn't KU find a better place for the grand new entrance to the new District SOMEWHERE along 19th St that didn't include Ousdahl where I walk my kid to school? Do we really need a traffic signal and crosswalk at 19th and Ousdahl? Who will be using this crosswalk? WHY do we need "better access" to our neighborhood at Ousdahl south of 19th St??? KU and the city destroyed trees and shrunk people's yards for the new intersection at 19th and Ousdahl and yes some home owners ARE moving. Why does our neighborhood NEED to be "connected"? The residential access to the neighborhood was just fine.There was NO planning and cooperation with neighborhood concerns.

Next will be the connection and enlargement of 19th St to the east increasing traffic right past a lot of other neighborhoods and even more into ours. Oh yeah, don't forget the bus hub with the related traffic and parking. These are things I did not see. There are benefits to living here and we do enjoy it but there is a lot of pressure on our little neighborhoods along 19th St lately to become something they are not.

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