Forcing cars off the street damages urbanism and the environment in different ways, writes Mouzon, depending on whether they're parked in front of the building, beside it, or behind it. Surface parking and parking decks damage both in their own ways as well. On-street parking, on the other hand, has several virtues, including the fact that it forms a pedestrian shield, and that it helps adjacent retail to thrive:
"One major source of fear is the possibility that a car might run off the street and hit you. On-street parking alleviates this fear, because each of those park cars acts as a shield of several thousand pounds of metal between you and the moving traffic. People don't consciously realize this all the time, but you've never seen a sidewalk cafe next to the expressway, have you?"
Thanks to Steve Mouzon