Way back in my younger days, in the late '60s, while in college, I took a couple driver's ed classes. These were not "how to drive" classes, but "how to teach driver's ed" classes. That was one of the things stressed in class as the "safest" method of entering a parallel parked auto. One does not step into the lane of traffic to enter the car. Now, after saying that, I too have never witness someone do it.
I believe Andy and Barney both got out of the passenger side a time or two at the Courthouse.
NOT entering from the curbside was instant FAILURE on the driver's license test in mid 70's Ohio. (It was also the last time I did it!)
Easy enough when cars had bench seats in front, but that is gone; not easy enough with bucket seats and gear shifts on the floor.
Thanks to all for your replies.