The following appeared as a letter to the editor from a Central Plaza store owner.

"Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels."

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.

In this letter, the author suggests that skateboarding will affect business, disrupt public property, and increase the amount of garbage on the plaza. It is suggested that skateboarding should be prohibited in the central plaza to restore business prosperity. Although the original intention of the author's proposal is solid, whether or not his prediction will produce the expected results depends on the answers to the following questions.

First, is the decline in business of the shops, the increase in the number of garbage on the plaza, and the destruction of public facilities caused by other reasons? In terms of store business, the prevalence of online shopping, the attractive new commercial street nearby, and the recent terror attacks on the square, could be causing the shops on the plaza to be experiencing poor business. In addition, it is possible that there has never been a sufficient amount of garbage cans around the plaza, and so people living near the plaza have become accustomed to littering. Also, the facilities in the plaza may have been used for a long time, and damage would be normal if there was a lack of necessary maintenance. If the above factors truly exist, then the author's argument that all problems are due to skateboarding would be ungrounded.

Even if the increase in the damage of garbage and public facilities and the deteriorating business of shops are all indeed caused by skateboarding, we still need to consider whether the prohibition of skateboarding is the only way to solve the above problems, or if it’s the best method. Perhaps the plaza could be divided into a skateboard-friendly area and could fine people who skateboard or litter in other areas. Alternatively, the central square can be developed into a square with a skateboard theme, and some skateboard shows could be held regularly to attract more traffic. In such a business situation, the enthusiasm of the skateboarders will not be dampened, and the above-mentioned environmental problems and sluggish business will be dealt with. In contrast, the author's proposal to directly ban skateboarding activities is overzealous, and it may promote other chain problems.

For the time being, it is thought that prohibiting skateboarding is the sole way to solve the problem. However, does prohibiting skateboarding allow the business of shops to thrive anew? There is a possibility that the prohibition of skateboarding is only a termination of the worsening trend in business of the shops. Consumers are already disappointed with the shopping conditions at the plaza, so shops need to make additional efforts to restore the original prosperity. For example, you can promote your storefront on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to attract customers, update products to suit trends, and promote more activities for holidays. It is only after we have confirmed that consumers have the intention to return to the plaza to continue shopping, that the author's proposal will be worth taking into consideration.

In short, although the author believes that the prohibition of skateboarding will cause business to return to the peak it reached the past, actions should not be taken hastily before the above-mentioned issues have clear answers.

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