David Brewster makes a good catch on the "private entities" reference in Gov. Christine Gregoire's comments on life after Prop 1. In talking with both House Speaker Frank Chopp and King County Executive Ron Sims, they have both assured that they are opposed to privatization of road projects – and Chopp was the hero of anti-privatizers on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge project. But many regional transportation wonks aren't convinced Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are a bad idea. Some concepts avoid total privatization and settle for semi-privatization with their financing, such as partially funding projects with building trades or union pension funds. That's been floated as how to fund a new downtown tunnel concept by Cascadia's Bruce Agnew and has been pushed nationally by former Democratic congressman and presidential candidate Dick Gephardt in his role as a consultant for Goldman Sachs. The failure of Prop 1 puts tolls and congestion pricing forward on the agenda after they've mostly been lurking in the backrooms. Increasingly, tolls and privatization go hand in hand. In Pugetopolis, privatization may offer a way around the tax limits of I-960. Many regions and states are avoiding "raising taxes" by allowing private contractors and toll road operators to set and collect fees. Outsourcing tolling is a way Dino Rossi and the pro-road crowd could reduce congestion without raising taxes. Build private tollways or HOT lanes that allow commuters to pay higher fees to avoid congestion, and fund the projects with private dollars. The state and counties would take a piece of the action to fund transit or other transportation projects. That way, you avoid taking the tax-hike political hit and dodge the I-960 red tape. Roads get build where suburban commuters want them--and can afford to pay the price out of their own pockets. This could be an effective tactic in partially funding an expanded Highway 520, widely regarded as a driveway for Microsoft: make one of the new lanes a private toll lane and let the Microsofties who want to drive pay for "their" bridge.