It’s less difficult than you might expect to get around the most auto-dependent sections of Michiana, as long as you’re willing to cut through a few parking lots.
I’d imagine that the practice is officially illegal, potentially dangerous, and probably not LAB-approved, but those are true of a lot of well-established, practical cycling techniques. The hard fact is that currently if you want to ride to Wal-Mart and you’re not prepared to take arterial traffic sewers, parking lot skipping is the only way to go.
When you start looking at infrastructure that way, you really start to notice details about the landscape, like the lack of any bridge over Juday Creek under 4 lanes. Or which parking lots link together, which require off-road curb hopping, and which are unfortunately impassible. Or which parking lot entrances are directly opposite each other and which require the dreaded right-to-left. (I myself cut through two lots every commute to round off an ugly right-to-left!)
This all ties into a greater facet of bike infrastructure that I think is perhaps obscured from recreational cyclists and other would-be advocates: Often the greatest benefits to utility cyclists come from careful planning and tiny changes to stuff that will be built anyway.
What do you think? Do you ride through parking lots? Which ones are your favorites? Which are the most heartbreaking non-connecting lots?