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Mossback’s Northwest

When Seattle Just Said ‘No’

Three instances where visions of the future ran up against the Seattle Process.

October 17, 2018

People often wonder: why did we wait so long for mass transit? Folks sometimes ask: why don’t we have a central park? Or maybe: Why isn't this city more walkable? The answer: we voted against it.

Seattle has a history of saying “no” to grand ideas. In this episode, Knute explores the Seattles that might have been — but died at the ballot box.



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Eric Keto

From the Oregon Coast to the North Slope of Alaska, Eric enjoys telling stories from the western edge of the country. His nonfiction video work has been featured on The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour and Alaska Public Media.

More stories by Eric Keto

Knute Berger

Knute Berger is Crosscut’s Mossback. Born and raised in Seattle, he writes with his own Pacific Northwest perspective. He also writes the monthly “Gray Matters” column for Seattle magazine where he is editor-at-large, and is an occasional commentator on KUOW-FM’s “Week in Review.” He is the author of two books: Pugetopolis: A Mossback Takes On Growth Addicts, Weather Wimps, and the Myth of Seattle Nice and Space Needle, The Spirit of Seattle (2012), the official 50th anniversary history of the tower. He was writer-in-residence at the Space Needle and has had a cocktail named after him at Ivar’s. You can email him at knute.berger@crosscut.com or follow him on twitter @KnuteBerger.

More stories by Knute Berger