"It's pedestrian friendly. You can pull your car up right to the front of a store."
Is this what our auto-centric couch-potato society has come to? "Pedestrian-friendly" is now a definition of a drive-up window? Argh! "Pedestian-friendly" does NOT mean creating an environment where you don't actually have to do any walking! "Pedestrian-friendly" means creating an environment that is attractive and welcoming to people on foot.
Got that, Mr. Rice? Newbury Street is pedestrian-friendly, even though you usually can't pull your car right up to a store. The Burger King drive-through window is not pedestrian-friendly, even though you can pull your car right up.
Amazingly, the Globe article continued on Rice's theme:
The Burlington Mall has the traditional ocean of spaces -- 5,700 of them -- with the stores forming an island in the middle. It's a hike from the space farthest away. Stores in Wayside Commons form a horseshoe, with most of the center's 800 spaces in the center, making for a much shorter walk.
The problem with traditional mall parking is not that you have to walk; it's that you have to walk in a particularly unappealing ocean of asphalt. Shoppers happily walk much longer down Newbury Street or in Quincy Market, without feeling the need to have a car drive them from one end to the other.
It's not about distance. It's about ambiance, and streetscape, and good design.