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Hi Gerry! Thanks for asking, and for the vote of confidence.
I have to decline, because don't work Saturdays, and also because I would make a soup of it, not having set foot in Lowell in almost four years. But here is what I want to say.
First, as the record shows and the folks at the Lowell Plan can attest, I spoke with literally hundreds of people in dozens of meetings, large and small, over a full month spent in Lowell. I challenge you to find another nationally active planner who has spent as much time in your community.
Second, I did speak to Chris Scott, but the School Superintendent's position was not enough to outweigh the vast majority who spoke in favor of keeping the High School downtown, including the High School's Principal and students.
Third, whatever public opinion, there are many compelling reasons for keeping the high school downtown. These are outlined in my report. In any of this debate, has anyone gone back to my report and read the arguments for the current site? Instead of having me on your show, can you please just read that passage?
I was about to repeat its salient points, here, but they are all in the report. If anything, the past four years have made me even more confident in them. PLEASE READ THEM!
My goal is for your city to thrive, and if you read my book Walkable City, you will understand why the city can't thrive unless the downtown thrives. If you think that those school kids are a nuisance -- and I know some shop-keepers do -- just wait and see how your downtown feels with a big hole in the middle and its sidewalks empty every morning and afternoon.
And I personally will be sure to show up when Lowell wins the National Dumb Growth Award for throwing out its centrally-located transit-served historic high school in favor of a shiny new sprawl bomb on the edge of town.