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CAT Critical Reasoning Practice question with Solution 88

Something must be done to ease traffic congestion. In traditional small towns, people used to work and shop in the same town in which they lived, but now that stores and workplaces are located far away from residential areas, people cannot avoid travelling long distances each day. Traffic congestion is so heavy on all roads that, even on major highways, the maximum speed averages only 35 miles per hour.

Which one of the following proposals is most supported by the statements above?

[A]. The maximum speed limit on major highways should be increased.
[B]. People who now travel on major highways should be encouraged to travel on secondary roads instead.
[C]. Residents of the remaining traditional small towns should be encouraged to move to the suburbs.
[D]. Drivers who travel well below the maximum speed limit on major highways should be fined.
[E]. New businesses should be encouraged to locate closer to where their workers would live.
Answer: E

The problem is traffic congestion; it’s heavy on all roads and slows highway speeds down to 35 miles per hour. The cause of the problem, as the author sees it, is that people no longer work and shop in the same town where they live. As a result, they have to travel long distances to get to the store or their job. The correct answer choice must propose a solution (or partial solution) that directly addresses this cause, and only (E) does so: Moving new businesses closer to workers’ homes would mean that workers wouldn’t have to travel as far to get to work and, in turn, that traffic congestion would be eased.

(A) Since highway drivers can’t even drive at the present speed limit owing to the congestion, raising the limit isn’t going to get them driving any faster.

(B) Congestion is heavy on all roads, so there’s no grounds for inferring that moving cars to different roads would have any positive effect on congestion.

(C) Places of business are located far away from “residential areas,” which include suburbs. (C) would move the problem around, not solve it. Also, (C) offers an irrelevant distinction between small towns and suburbs; the issue is the residence relative to the workplace.

(D) would just punish the victims; drivers haven’t been choosing to dawdle. They can’t drive fast because of the congestion.

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