I've not seen anything on the C:S wiki or in-game to suggest that having pass-by traffic is either necessary or desirable for commercial properties (noise is listed as a negative factor, so traffic can be negative). However, this is one of the key metrics for commercial realty in real life, so it seems odd that it would be ignored in an otherwise fairly realistic sim game like this one? It was a factor in SimCity 4, for example.

Does traffic, specifically commuter "people" traffic not freight trucks, encourage commercial properties to grow? Will they stagnate or be abandoned if, for example, built on a side road away from traffic?

(Yes, I could test this, and I will if no one has a canonical answer, but there may be confounding factors that I as a newbie misunderstand. I'd love to know how the engine works.)

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There's a good mod for getting an idea of what it is that buildings need to "thrive" and upgrade: Extended Building Information:

Mod image

Having used the mod myself, I can tell you that commercial buildings (in addition to factories) replace the "education progress" bar with a "wealth progress" bar which is tied to citizens visiting the building and presumably shopping there. There is nothing indicating that a commercial building's success is directly tied to the amount of traffic moving through the area, but could be indirectly impacted by being far away from potential customers.

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