For whom the road tolls:

Drivers who cross the Highway 520 floating bridge would pay a toll as soon as next year under Gov. Christine Gregoire’s financing plan to replace the aging span.

The state also should consider a toll on the Interstate 90 bridge to raise additional cash, Gregoire said Thursday, in releasing the 520 proposal…The finance plan assumes a round-trip toll of $6 to $7 during heavy commute hours, starting next year.

My only comment here: a toll of $6 to $7 bucks might seem unfair. But—and this is important—it’s probably what it actually costs to drive across the 520 bridge.

That is, if you include all the costs when a car crosses that bridge—wear and tear on the road, maintenance, depreciation of the old facility, construction costs of the new facility, plus the pollution, noise, and congestion costs of a car trip—then a single trip across 520 at peak hours probably costs about as much as a cappuccino.

And making the drivers themselves pay those costs, rather than passing them off to all taxpayers, is only fair. After all, I don’t expect taxpayers to pay for my coffee; so why should drivers expect other taxpayers to pay for their car trips?