I went on a trip this weekend. Took Amtrak from Philly to DC then a commuter train (VRE) from DC to Manassas.
The Amtrak ride was mostly through inner city / industrial areas and rural areas. Not a lot of suburbs. However the commuter train of course goes out into the suburbs.
The difference in scenery was AMAZING. In the inner city / industrial areas you saw some cars, parked in front of rowhouses, in the parking lot of warehouses, etc. Once we were out close to Manassas, it was like parking lots, car lots, mechanic shops, cars cars cars cars cars. Really made me notice how MANY of the darn things you see in the suburbs. And what a huge chunk of the economy must be devoted to making them, maintaining them, stocking parts, selling them, loaning money for them, etc.
I still won't say we should get rid of 'em, but it really surprised me how noticable the increase in cars-relative-to-other-scenery was as we came out into the suburbs.