There is a perennial argument put forward by zoning enthusiasts that large, proximate parking lots are necessary to manage/handle car traffic to local businesses. This has led to the decimation of otherwise vibrant downtown business sectors and compounded the problem of car-centric sprawl in the suburbs. Have a look at this video. It probably won't win an Oscar, but it's a great summary of what happens when municipalities insist on each business having their own private, proximate, dedicated parking lot.
Credit to Matt Taylor: http://mtayloranalysis.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/surrey-parking-standards-video/