This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

The holy trinity (Sims, Nickels, Gregoire) have a joint op-ed in the Times today on the “multidimensional” problem of replacing the Viaduct.

Mike @ CIS sees tell-tale signs of squishiness, and I tend to agree. But they do at least seem to be softening up the public for the idea that there might not be a new waterfront freeway in Seattle’s future.

For folks like me who are obsessed with this stuff, the idea of going to an Embarcadero-style surface boulevard makes so much sense, we can tend to forget how much of a shock it might be to the general public when our elected leaders announce that they’re going to tear down a highway and replace it with… nothing.

Well, nothing you can see anyway. Sure, gas is at $4/gallon, yes, Americans are starting to drive less and think about alternatives. But it’s going to take some real public education before they announce the plan later this year.

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