Here's an excellent study reported in Atlantic Cities that shows that increased congestion is related to stronger economies. This study, by Florida Atlantic associate professor Eric Dumbaugh, is a direct attack on the Texas Transportation Institute's annual congestion index, and the economic justification for adding freeway lanes, widening roads, building commercial strip arterials, making streets one-way, and other routine congestion-mitigation efforts. They are both costly and wreak havoc on cities and towns. These projects are justified in the name of improving the economy and now we have proof that this strategy doesn't work. One reason is that many of the congestion-mitigation projects destroy value and therefore economic activity. Another way of saying this is that every great place is congested. Trying to make the place less congested, which has been the job of most transportation planners for the last 60 years, is the transportation equivalent of an auto-immune disease. The perpetual pursuit of less congestion is the community fighting itself.
Many states, especially those in the South, are exceedingly vulnerable to rising fuel prices, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
A study of Orenco Station, a large traditional neighborhood development in Hillsboro, Oregon, backs claims that new urban design fosters physical activity and adds to the richness of community life.