Take a look at this entrance to the Marginal Way, a spectacular cliff/oceanside walking path in Ogunquit, Maine:
You'd never guess that the flower border, grass buffer and line of trees (to the right, out of the photo) are actually screening part of a parking lot at a nearby hotel. In fact, I walked by there a number of times before even realizing there were cars parked just a few feet away.
It IS possible to create a pedestrian-appealing walking environment not far from parking. But you have to try. Waist-high shrubs don't do it.