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# A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and

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I think a nuance of option D has been missed in many explanations. So while many of us have eliminated D, it is not for the right reasons.

Quote:
(D) If the proposed lane restrictions on drivers are rigorously enforced, more people will likely be attracted to downtown businesses than would otherwise be.

Most explanations eliminate D by stating that the option presents a conditional and that the added condition ('rigorously enforced') is an additional requirement that we cannot assume must be met.
In other words, the explanations go something along these lines:
1. We need to support the prediction that implementing lane restrictions will attract more people to downtown businesses.
2. (D) states: If lane restrictions are enforced rigorously then more people will be attracted to downtown businesses.
3. Since we do not know whether the restrictions will be rigorously enforced, this option is incorrect.

Or, put another way, a common explanation is:
1. The answer choice is of the form If X then Y.
2. Since we don’t know whether X will happen, we can’t say whether Y will happen.
Thus the option doesn’t support.

I have two issues with such reasoning.

1. My first issue: The question stem.

Quote:
Which of the following would, if true, most strongly support the prediction that the plan would achieve its goal?

What do we need to support?
The prediction.

What is the prediction?
That the plan would achieve its goal.

The prediction is not that the plan will be executed.
The prediction is, I repeat, that the plan would achieve its goal.

Let’s say I make a prediction:

Cleaning our surroundings (plan) will make India a better travel destination (goal).

Am I making both of the following predictions:
1. We'll clean our surroundings
2. Cleaning them will make India a better travel destination.
?

The way I see it, I am not making the first prediction.

Will we clean our surroundings? I don't know.
But, I do predict that if we clean them, India will become a better travel destination.

2. My second issue: Understanding what the answer choice means.

Option D does not present a conditional in the sense that these posts explain. It presents a comparison. It is critical that we understand the comparison clearly. Let's understand precisely what the word 'otherwise' implies.

What is the 'otherwise' situation?

I. Does the answer choice state that if lane restrictions are rigorously enforced, more people will be attracted to downtown businesses than would be the case if the lane restrictions were not even enforced (i.e. compared with the current scenario)?

II. Or, does it state that if lane restrictions are rigorously enforced, more people will be attracted to downtown businesses than would be the case if the lane restrictions are not rigorously enforced? (i.e., a comparison between two hypothetical scenarios?)

The first interpretation presents a comparison between a situation in which lane restrictions are implemented and rigorously enforced, and a situation in which the restrictions are not even implemented (the present scenario).

The second interpretation presents a comparison between a situation in which lane restrictions are rigorously enforced and a situation in which lane restrictions are not rigorously enforced.

Hope you notice now that the option actually means the second interpretation (II).

Do you see it?

Now on to the reasoning.

Question: What would support the prediction that the plan would attract more people to downtown businesses?

Quote:
D. If the proposed lane restrictions on drivers are rigorously enforced, more people will likely be attracted to downtown businesses than would otherwise be.

Consider the following scenario: A certain percentage of the population appreciates lane restrictions and would be interested to visit downtown if these restrictions were implemented. However, within that chunk, a sub-percentage would only visit downtown if the restrictions are rigorously enforced. In other words, if lane restrictions are rigorously enforced, this entire chunk of the population would visit downtown. However, if the restrictions are not rigorously enforced, only a part of this population would visit downtown. This scenario is inline with option D.

But, how does this chunk of the population that appreciates lane restrictions relate to the total visitors to downtown? Does this chunk represent more people than currently visit downtown? We have no idea.

Here's another example to explain this option:
Let's say in a country the voters are to decide between two parties: Marvel (incumbent) and DC.

Now, let's say we have to figure out whether DC would be better than Marvel. And, we're given that If DC governs well then more people would be happy than would be the case if DC does not govern well. Does this statement lead us to understand how DC would fare against Marvel? It doesn't. The comparison is within two DC situations.

Answer choice D follows a similar structure.

This answer choice has no impact on the argument.

Now, let's add option C to the mix.
Quote:
C. In other moderately sized cities where measures were taken to make downtowns more accessible for walkers and cyclists, downtown businesses began to thrive.

If in these other cities, similar measures led to the number of visitors going up from their initial numbers, aren't you relatively more convinced that these measures could lead to the number of visitors going beyond the current number in the city in question as well? Of course, there is no certainty. But we are not looking for something that would confirm the prediction. We're simply looking for support, not a confirmation.

I often find students struggle with analogies in strengthen questions.

"If it worked for y, what's the guarantee that it'll work for x as well?" - a paraphrase of a question I often find GMAT takers wondering about.

Answer: There is no guarantee. However, we aren't looking for a guarantee. We are looking for support.

When you just started your GMAT preparation and were trying to decide which course/ resource/ tutor to go for, did you look at reviews and testimonials by other students? If you did, doesn't the same question apply here as well: If a course helped someone else score well, what's the guarantee that it could help you score well also? And the answer is the same. There is no guarantee. However, your belief in the course increases if you look at positive reviews left by test takers whom you might have some similarities with. The same reasoning applies here. Remember 'support' or 'strengthen' does not mean 'confirm'.

In this question, option D is incorrect (it does not support at all), and option C is correct (it supports).

An article in which I discuss analogies in CR answer choices in more detail: https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-handl ... 70572.html.

Originally posted by AnishPassi on 29 Mar 2020, 04:00.
Last edited by AnishPassi on 16 Jul 2022, 09:02, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and [#permalink]
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teaserbae wrote:
AjiteshArun DavidTutorexamPAL
Well I was confused between C and D.
I eventually went for D.
As in C it is true for other cities it doesn't necessarily be true for the city mentioned in the passage also it talks about business began to thrive but not about to attract more shoppers and workers
D directly mentioned about to attract more shoppers and workers
I agree with DavidTutorexamPAL. Option D is in the form if X, then Y, but it doesn't say that X will actually happen.

For example, take this one: "if we eat vegetables, we'll be healthy". Just this statement on its own doesn't tell us whether we'll be healthy. That depends on whether we actually eat our veggies.
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A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and [#permalink]
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It is interesting that C is considered by GMAT to strongly support the prediction. If the same topic were to analyzed in AWA, we would attack C as making unsubstantiated analogy: what works in another city, albeit with similar size, does not necessarily apply here.

= = = Update on 6/23/2022 = = =

I expressed my frustration about this question over three years ago. Many kudos that post received demonstrated the similar sentiment among fellow test takers.

Yet, over the past three years, my attitude toward this question gradually changed. I can now eliminate option (D) with confidence. Here it goes.

"If the proposed lane restrictions on drivers are rigorously enforced, more people will likely be attracted to downtown businesses than would otherwise be."
Let's say, If the proposed lane restrictions on drivers are rigorously enforced, 200 people will be attracted to downtown businesses.
Otherwise, only 100 people will be attracted to downtown business. Fair enough?

But we do not know how many people are visiting downtown business now! It might be any number from 50, 150, 250, to 500+.

Since the goal of the plan is to increase visitors to downtown business, simply knowing (D) is essentially irrelevant. True, If the proposed lane restrictions on drivers are rigorously enforced, more people will likely be attracted to downtown businesses than would otherwise be. But, even with the rigorous enforcement, the number of visitors may still be lower than current level. (Or it may be higher. Thus irrelevant.)

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Grace, you are such a good writer; your AWA will absolutely be 6.

Originally posted by zhanbo on 08 May 2019, 06:07.
Last edited by bb on 29 May 2023, 12:08, edited 3 times in total.
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Bunuel wrote:
A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and is considering a plan that would reduce the number of lanes for automobiles and trucks and increase those for bicycles and pedestrians. The intent is to attract more workers and shoppers to downtown businesses by making downtown easier to reach and more pleasant to move around in.

Which of the following would, if true, most strongly support the prediction that the plan would achieve its goal?

A. People who make a habit of walking or bicycling whenever feasible derive significant health benefits from doing so.
B. Most people who prefer to shop at suburban malls instead of downtown urban areas do so because parking is easier and cheaper at the former.
C. In other moderately sized cities where measures were taken to make downtowns more accessible for walkers and cyclists, downtown businesses began to thrive.
D. If the proposed lane restrictions on drivers are rigorously enforced, more people will likely be attracted to downtown businesses than would otherwise be.
E. Most people who own and frequently ride bicycles for recreational purposes live at a significant distance from downtown urban areas.

CR95631.01
OG2020 NEW QUESTION

Breaking down our passage gives:
1. city is redesigning, wants less auto lanes and more bicycle\pedestrian lanes
2. this will attract workers/shoppers (because) it will make area more pleasant/easier to reach

The logic is extremely straightforward and we should therefore feel comfortable inferring a likely answer. This is a Precise approach.
In particular, we either need to strengthen that 'change in lanes' will cause 'more pleasant / easier to reach' or strengthen that 'more pleasant / easier to reach' will cause 'more shoppers/workers'.

Skimming through our options, (C) and (D) are the only ones that address these issues, but (D) also assumes that the restrictions are 'rigorously enforced'. Then (C) is a better choice.
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Re: A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and [#permalink]
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Well I was confused between C and D.
I eventually went for D.
As in C it is true for other cities it doesn't necessarily be true for the city mentioned in the passage also it talks about business began to thrive but not about to attract more shoppers and workers
D directly mentioned about to attract more shoppers and workers
General Discussion
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A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and is considering a plan that would reduce the number of lanes for automobiles and trucks and increase those for bicycles and pedestrians. The intent is to attract more workers and shoppers to downtown businesses by making downtown easier to reach and more pleasant to move around in.
Which of the following would, if true, most strongly support the prediction that the plan would achieve its goal?

Analysis:
Conclusion: Fewer lanes for automobiles and trucks AND more lanes for bicycles and pedestrians ---> attract more workers and shoppers

Assumptions:
Mixes causation and correlation
Fewer lanes for automobiles and trucks AND more lanes for bicycles and pedestrians ---> attract more workers and shoppers
OTHER Factors: price of items (cheaper) and higher remuneration, ease of parking -X--> attract more workers and shoppers

A. People who make a habit of walking or bicycling whenever feasible derive significant health benefits from doing so.
---> Irrelevant

B. Most people who prefer to shop at suburban malls instead of downtown urban areas do so because parking is easier and cheaper at the former.
--->Weaken: Cheaper at the former introduces another factor that weakens the conclusion ie it states that cheap may be a cause of people not visiting the area

C. In other moderately sized cities where measures were taken to make downtowns more accessible for walkers and cyclists, downtown businesses began to thrive.
---> Shows similar CAUSE ---> similar Effect {Keep}

D. If the proposed lane restrictions on drivers are rigorously enforced, more people will likely be attracted to downtown businesses than would otherwise be.
---> Weaken: Shows that if lane restrictions is enforced then even without redesign (decrease lanes for automobiles and trucks) , people may visit the area

E. Most people who own and frequently ride bicycles for recreational purposes live at a significant distance from downtown urban areas.
---> Irrelevant
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zhanbo wrote:
It is interesting that C is considered by GMAT to strongly support the prediction. If the same topic were to analyzed in AWA, we would attack C as making unsubstantiated analogy: what works in another city, albeit with similar size, does not necessarily apply here.

A strengthen CR answer choice does not necessarily proof the conclusion. Any answer choice that gives you additional reasons to think that conclusion can be correct is a potential correct answer. You need to pick the best of the potential answer choices.
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This is OE, option (C) vs (D):

(C) Correct. If other moderately sized cities that have made their downtown areas more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists have seen their downtown businesses begin to thrive soon afterwards, this is evidence—even if not conclusive—that the changes produced the thriving. Consequently, it is reasonable to think that the same will result for the city in question.

(D)It might be the case that rigorously enforcing lane restrictions will attract more people to downtown businesses than would otherwise be the case, but the information provided does not indicate how strictly lane restrictions will be enforced.
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Re: A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and [#permalink]
I am not absolutely understand the choice C, I think I miss something. because C is OE.
Quote:
In other moderately sized cities where measures were taken to make downtowns more accessible for walkers and cyclists, downtown businesses began to thrive.

how can we know the reason of thrive in other moderately sized cities are more accessible for walkers and cyclists? may be other causes lead to the thrive.

similar question from OG
Quote:
Advertising by mail has become much less effective, with fewer consumers responding. Because consumers are increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of junk mail they receive, most discard almost all offers without considering them. Thus, an effective way for corporations to improve response rates would be to more carefully target the individuals to whom they mail advertising, thereby cutting down on the amount of junk mail each consumer receives.
Which of the following, if true, would most support the recommendation above?
(A) There are cost-effective means by which corporations that currently advertise by mail could improve response rates.
(B) Many successful corporations are already carefully targeting the individuals to whom they mail advertising.
(C) Any consumer who, immediately after receiving an advertisement by mail, merely glances at it, is very likely to discard it.
(D) Improvements in the quality of the advertising materials used in mail that is carefully targeted to individuals can improve the response rate for such mail.
(E) Response rates to carefully targeted advertisements by mail are considerably higher, on average, than response rates to most other forms of advertising.

as for this, we cross off B because we are not sure the targeted advertising mails is the reason of many successful corporations ,

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Re: A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and [#permalink]
(C) In other moderately sized cities where measures were taken to make downtowns more accessible for walkers and cyclists, downtown businesses began to thrive.

"A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and is considering .."

I excluded option C, because I wrongly assumed that moderately sized city would be different than a moderately large city.
Don't you think that the answer should include the word "large"? How can this type of wording prevent someone thinking "moderately small"?
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zoezhuyan wrote:
I am not absolutely understand the choice C, I think I miss something. because C is OE.
Quote:
In other moderately sized cities where measures were taken to make downtowns more accessible for walkers and cyclists, downtown businesses began to thrive.

how can we know the reason of thrive in other moderately sized cities are more accessible for walkers and cyclists? may be other causes lead to the thrive.

similar question from OG
Quote:
Advertising by mail has become much less effective, with fewer consumers responding. Because consumers are increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of junk mail they receive, most discard almost all offers without considering them. Thus, an effective way for corporations to improve response rates would be to more carefully target the individuals to whom they mail advertising, thereby cutting down on the amount of junk mail each consumer receives.
Which of the following, if true, would most support the recommendation above?
(A) There are cost-effective means by which corporations that currently advertise by mail could improve response rates.
(B) Many successful corporations are already carefully targeting the individuals to whom they mail advertising.
(C) Any consumer who, immediately after receiving an advertisement by mail, merely glances at it, is very likely to discard it.
(D) Improvements in the quality of the advertising materials used in mail that is carefully targeted to individuals can improve the response rate for such mail.
(E) Response rates to carefully targeted advertisements by mail are considerably higher, on average, than response rates to most other forms of advertising.

as for this, we cross off B because we are not sure the targeted advertising mails is the reason of many successful corporations ,

There is a difference in the two:

1. Others who did A became successful. (same as option C of original question)

So A led to success for others. Whether it will lead to success for us, we don't know but it certainly looks worth a try. It does make A more promising.

2. Many successful people are doing A. (same as option B of the question you brought)

Is A the reason they became successful? We don't know. All we know is that successful people are doing A. Perhaps after becoming successful they started doing A - we don't know.
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Re: A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and [#permalink]
Bunuel wrote:
A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and is considering a plan that would reduce the number of lanes for automobiles and trucks and increase those for bicycles and pedestrians. The intent is to attract more workers and shoppers to downtown businesses by making downtown easier to reach and more pleasant to move around in.

Which of the following would, if true, most strongly support the prediction that the plan would achieve its goal?

(A) People who make a habit of walking or bicycling whenever feasible derive significant health benefits from doing so.
(B) Most people who prefer to shop at suburban malls instead of downtown urban areas do so because parking is easier and cheaper at the former.
(C) In other moderately sized cities where measures were taken to make downtowns more accessible for walkers and cyclists, downtown businesses began to thrive.
(D) If the proposed lane restrictions on drivers are rigorously enforced, more people will likely be attracted to downtown businesses than would otherwise be.
(E) Most people who own and frequently ride bicycles for recreational purposes live at a significant distance from downtown urban areas.

CR95631.01
OG2020 NEW QUESTION

Really confused. Why not D and why C ?
C is an example of a different city which may not be true for the city in question.

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Rumsus wrote:
Really confused. Why not D and why C ?
C is an example of a different city which may not be true for the city in question.

Hi Rumsus,

You're assuming that it "may not be true", which could absolutely work in another question with at least one option better than the one that talks about other cities. However, in this question, we don't have a better option. The problem with D (this post, this post, and this post) is much bigger than the one you've identified in C.
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Quote:
(C) In other moderately sized cities where measures were taken to make downtowns more accessible for walkers and cyclists, downtown businesses began to thrive.

"A moderately large city is redesigning its central downtown area and is considering .."

I excluded option C, because I wrongly assumed that moderately sized city would be different than a moderately large city.
Don't you think that the answer should include the word "large"? How can this type of wording prevent someone thinking "moderately small"?

You are right. I considered that difference for a bit too. However, the key is the word just before the portion you have underlined in option C: "other". "In other moderately sized cities ... ". This shows that this option is talking about other cities from the same category, not about a different category altogether.

Anish
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Verbal is not like the quantitative section, in the sense that something that "works" in one question may not work in another. The reason for this is that the verbal section asks us to restrict ourselves to the 5 options presented to us. An option that is better than the other 4 options in one question may not remain the correct answer if we change one of the other options. In other words, a question in which an option that discusses other cities is incorrect must also include at least one "better option". In this question, that is not the case.

The explanations on the first page (1, 2, and 3) are absolutely fine, but here is the main problem with D:
1. D says that if something is done, the desired outcome becomes more likely.
2. There is no information on whether that "something" that was mentioned in the option will in fact be done.

This is option C:
1. Something has been done somewhere, in order to achieve a certain outcome.
2. When that "something" was done elsewhere, the desired outcome was achieved.

Note that option C does not make the desired outcome certain. It is, however, much better than D, and is therefore the correct option.
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I eliminated C as the passage says ' a moderately LARGE city' and C mentions 'In other moderately sized cities' . I thought this was a trap (not to mention this type of reasoning has been termed irrelevant in many other CR type questions). Doesn't moderately large mean large only?
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livfcind wrote:
I eliminated C as the passage says ' a moderately LARGE city' and C mentions 'In other moderately sized cities' . I thought this was a trap (not to mention this type of reasoning has been termed irrelevant in many other CR type questions). Doesn't moderately large mean large only?

The GMAT generally doesn't go out of its way to trick you on CR. While it is certainly a good idea to have your eye on the exact language of the passage and answer choices, you can take the meaning of that language at face value.

The passage discusses a certain city, telling us that this city is "moderately large."

(C) begins with: "In other moderately sized cities..."

This language implies that the city discussed in the passage is among the moderately sized cities discussed in (C). Because of this, you can compare the outcome of the measures in these other cities to the potential outcome of the same measures in the city discussed in the passage.

Imagine that you are on the committee that is considering the proposal -- if similar plans in other moderately sized cities resulted in a thriving downtown, you would clearly take that as a point in favor of adopting the proposal.

(C) supports the prediction that the plan will achieve its goal, so (C) is the correct answer.

I hope that helps!
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