And some like it that way
I grew up in this area and still have family who live just down the road! The large grocery store was a Farm Fresh, which had the most amazing fried chicken. (The story about who got the rights to the recipe after the chain shut down a few years ago is an interesting one.) The city recently changed a bunch of the surrounding intersections to include indirect left-hand turns. It remains a pedestrian nightmare!
"Much of what we call NIMBYism is in fact a logical position based on the kind of places we have built."
There's something to this, but it's not everything. This theory would predict that NIMBYism would be less intense in places that are largely car-free (Lower Manhattan, for example). But the residents there complain just as much about new development as any suburbanite, although they may be less likely to mention parking. A lot of people just instinctively dislike change and growth.
Do you have a link to the Churchill piece you reference?
I'm the sort who loves being out in public but also dislikes crowds. My ideal bar or coffee shop experience is when it's maybe half-filled. When I lived in a dense neighborhood, I could shape the rhythm of my life to be slightly off the crowded times (eg. go out to dinner on a Monday or Tuesday either earlier or later than the rush, or get up earlier before church on Sunday to enjoy a laid-back morning at the coffee shop). When I was in grad school, I would go to matinee art films downtown on weekdays and have the place to myself. Economies of scale end up providing opportunities for solitude that are actually sustainable.
For those who do like the fully-empty vibe, this is arguably easier to find in dense cities, too, because there are lots of good restaurants that make most of their money off of catering or delivery but almost always have small, unfilled dining rooms. (Tyler Cowen made an observation about this a while back).
So, even for us who crave the chill vibes, dense city living gives choices for finding quiet in public that suburbia does not.