Could the best solution to replacing Prior be a new arterial routed along the gap between Produce Row and the city work yards?
Moving east bound from Main along Prior. To move traffic away from homes in the 300 block of Prior and 800 block of Gore, the road could dip slightly south at around 250 Prior Street.
The route would then travel slightly south east aimed towards the storage sheds on the north end of the works yard at 701 National. This would cut off a small corner of Trillium Park, but moves the traffic away from residents at Malkin and Atlantic.
The route then crosses Thornton and progresses along the path of existing city storage areas. Access to the yards would be off the new road, eliminating the need for National, which now dead ends at Chess. The effected storage areas could then be moved to the space now taken up by National, creating a net gain in work yard area.
The path continues south east, crossing Chess, and entering the City owned VFD land at 1330 Chess, continuing towards the south west corner of 1020 Malkin. The land lost by the road through the VFD land could be replaced by the closure and repurposing of land on south Chess as National will be closed.
The produce terminal truck storage area being leased from the railroad at 1451 Glen is the only piece of land the city would need to deal with that they don't own already. If they acquire it, then the overpass would be as short as the Malkin overpass. The south area of truck storage for the produce terminal at Glen and Malkin could possibly be relocated to a lot across Glen that the railway owns or to the Dog Pound lot across Malkin if and when the Pound moves – a shorter distance for them and more secure.
If they cannot acquire it, then the overpass would be slightly longer to get up high enough for future train movement beneath. This slightly longer overpass cost is still drastically less than the much longer overpass required at National. It would also not have to be long enough to allow trucks to pass underneath, as in the Williams option.
From 1451 Glen, the road would continue east across Glen, passing through City owned 1490 Glen and more VFD land. The land lost for VFD could be offset by adjoining railroad land to the north where there is currently an un-used buried track. This would be more land than they will be giving up, as part of the area under the new overpass will be accessible to them as well.
On the east side of the track, overpass lands in existing parking lot at Vernon and Charles.
• It is the only option that seems supportable by all local stakeholders: Strathcona Residents Association, Produce Row business owners, Cottonwood Garden, and Strathcona Garden.
• It does not disturb eastbound truck traffic on Produce Row or directly impact any existing business along Malkin.
• It creates a new, easily accessible east-west route out of the area.
• Avoids blocking Glen and an awkward connector at Raymur.
• Businesses could remain fully functioning during construction.
• Preserves Strathcona Park.
• Preserves Cottonwood Garden.
• Preserves Strathcona Garden.
• Preserves produce business on the north side of Malkin.
• Avoids air quality impact of having an arterial run directly next to the park.
• No net loss of city work yard or VFD space if National is converted to work yard area.
• Could potentially cost less than all 3 other options because there is minimal land required that the city does not already own.
• Easy, safe and close access for bus riding employees. Would still need a local serving small bus through/around Strathcona
• Nesting Eagle Habitat Protected
• Maintains same connection to Clark as Malkin option.