In much of the US, there is often no safe way where a person can walk from business to business even if they didn't mind the greater distances involved here. The area between or around larger stores stores or strip plazas is generally surrounded by a large moat of parking lot where it may not be very safe to walk due to lack of visibility, distracted drivers, and other factors. The intersections leading to such places are even less safe for crossing on foot.
Where I live in Texas, there is really no way to walk from the bank to the grocery store to a place for a quick snack and then to buy shoes like I remember doing in Germany. It's a very rare downtown area that has more than office buildings, courthouses, and the occasional restaurant that is only open during weekday lunches. Even then, downtown is only there for the nightlife, not for general daytime errands.
To do the same set of errands I could walk to in Germany after a short bus ride, one will end up having to get in and out of the car four times and drive a few miles between the places rather than walking a few minutes between each stop. Throw some kids into the mix, it's even less fun. Make it over 100 degrees outside where your car turns into a blast furnace in ten minutes or less during each errand, and it becomes downright miserable.
If you're like me and can't drive, you get to enjoy the pleasure of dodging cars in the 100+ temperatures under blazing sunlight that obstructs both your vision and the drivers' vision around you while walking at least a quarter mile between stores (if you're lucky enough to find a strip center that has more than one business that you need to visit there). You also get to alarm those working in stores when you carry your shopping from your previous errand with you, since they will often assume you're shoplifting since you're bringing in a shopping bag with you. I totally get why people buy coffee at drive throughs. This place just isn't designed for people - it's designed for cars. Seriously, for most of us in the US, the notion of wondering what you'd say if you saw someone walking down the street is not something you'd literally consider. What you'd say seeing them in the grocery store, sure. But no one walks down the street here unless their car broke down.