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Desperately need a GRE ARGUMENT evalution (Please HELP !!)


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The following appeared in an editorial in a local newspaper.

"Commuters complain that increased rush-hour traffic on Blue Highway between the suburbs and the city center has doubled their commuting time. The favored proposal of the motorists' lobby is to widen the highway, adding an additional lane of traffic. Opponents note that last year's addition of a lane to the nearby Green Highway was followed by a worsening of traffic jams on it. Their suggested alternative proposal is adding a bicycle lane to Blue Highway. Many area residents are keen bicyclists. A bicycle lane would encourage them to use bicycles to commute, it is argued, thereby reducing rush-hour traffic."

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.



The following argument is flawed for numerous reasons. It assumes what is true for Green Highway is also true for nearby Blue Highway. It also assumes that last year’s condition is unchanged until now. Moreover, it assumes the residents who are keen bicyclists will actually use a bicycle lane during rush hour. Thus, these assumptions if prove to be unwarranted the whole argument falls apart.


The argument assumes that Blue Highway is similar to nearby Green Highway. Even if these two highways are close to each other, there may be significant differences such as may be Green Highway does not connects suburbs and city center rather it connects downtown to national highway where probability of accidents are higher. Highway plan and structure of Green Highway may be faulty. Had the argument taken into account that the two highways both between suburb and downtown, even then it must be prove that the structure and planning of these two highways are similar. Thus, if these two highways are not similar the argument falls apart.


Another assumption is that what happened last years will also likely to happen in future. Even if these two highways are similar, may be last year the climate condition was worse than usual and there was excessive snow, rain or heat etc. which lead to increased traffic jams. Moreover, may be the city held some kind of world cup championship and many people came from outside the city which lead to more traffic. So it must be proved that last year’s condition was similar to typical condition, otherwise this argument won’t hold true.


Finally, it assumes that residents who are keen bicyclists will actually use a bicycle lane and use bicycle for their commute. May be these residents use bicycle for their recreational activities or after work they may be exhaust and lack energy for their return home during rush hour. So it must be prove that they will actually willing to use bicycle in their everyday commute. If this assumption prove to be false then the argument will not be compelling.


Because the argument makes several unwarranted assumptions it fails to make a convincing case that, a bicycle lane will reduce the rush-hour traffic jam in Blue Highway.

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