I think recumbents are more suited to longer commutes on the open road. If you are right in the urban jungle, and need to do that curb-hopping stuff, or hauling them over footbridges etc, they are less suitable.
I use several roads which have been closed off to through traffic (rat runs) by building a curbed pavement right across the road, with no slope for bikes to use. I also cut through short pedestrian routes, to link between minor roads. Whilst I generally dissagree with sidewalk cycling, there are times when you just have to do it.
In US style grid systems, this may not be an issue, but in the UK, the road network is more complex.