I used to encounter this problem a lot, but a long time ago I read in a blog somewhere (from whom I unfortunately cannot credit) that sims don’t like to make left turns. This tiny piece of information made a huge difference in the success of my city layouts. So wherever sims need to go… be that work (industrial), leisure (parks) or shopping (commercial), it needs to be down the road to their right or after a right turn. The exception to this is a T-intersection. Since hitting a T-intersection from the stem road means there’s no possibility of going straight, somehow, this means they can turn left. I’ll be honest. When I first learned this, I was kind of upset about it. How could it be that these sims can’t make a left turn? But following the simple rule just mentioned (and it really is simple) I almost never had to deal with the Sims leaving due to "no shops or parks" or the other “couldn't find work”. But here’s another tip. This mod
Brings to the game 82 “parklets” (essentially thin strips of park-like or plaza like areas). It’s truly a beautiful solution to the "no shops or parks" problem. Place one of these right after your buildings in addition to or to replace your regular parks and it seriously minimizes the problem. Some of the most useful parklets can service up to 48 sims and appears as a simple ally way between high density tenements. Sometimes, I’ll place one just to the right of a building just as “insurance” against such complaints in the future. I must credit Yayie for this excellent mod.
Finally, here’s one last tip if you want to kill this problem once and for all. You just have to do a little bit of math… just estimated; no need to grab a calculator. Each park as you probably know, has a capacity. Each commercial building does also, and every residential building has a specific number of shoppers. Keeping in mind that low wealth residents only go to low wealth commercial, etc., you just have to make sure that the number of park space available plus the amount of shopping capacity available is equal to the amount of shoppers you have. If you don’t know how many shoppers you have or how much shopper capacity each commercial building has, then you must be wondering how it is that I know these things. The answer is a mod created by MaxisGuillaume that literally everyone should have called The Extended Worker Data Mod. It’s on this page
With this mod you’ll know how many shoppers you have and how much shopper capacity you have from commercial buildings so you can match them up. Park capacity is already in the menu. Make sure the parks or commercial locations are down the road to the right or after a right turn unless there’s a T-intersection. Hopefully, you’ll never hear of the "no shops or parks" complaint again.