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It's terrifically important for us to contemplate scenarios, both negative & positive. But bottom line, we haven't any real idea about this technology will emerge, how it will be offered and how it consumers will use it. For example, it's quite conceivable that at the outset (say) Google will ONLY lease to fleet operators so that self-drivers are ONLY used as part of taxi fleets. (For security reasons, Google might decide that it wants to keep as much control as possible so won't sell to individuals but insists on fleets where it can physically inspect the cars on a daily basis.) That sorta changes your scenario, Jarrett. So while it's important and useful for us to spin possibilities, there are NO certainties at the moment.
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Then Columbia is also at fault. :) Surely there was enough depth along the wall to allow shallow shops -- maybe 12'-20' deep. Quite functional and charming and it would have changed the street totally. No? My surmise is that no one even considered such an idea. It's very difficult for institutions to adjust and think small.
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Dec 29, 2010