And if your are a shy person there is nothing wrong with it. There many opportunities to take great photos in the streets without getting too close. Think about all the great photos were people get lost in a crowd or being related to architecture etc. (the fast moving bicycle taken by Henry Cartier Bresson). As I wrote in this article "Street photography should be like this!? (Follow your own road)" there are no rules. Don´t think that you have to do it a certain way.
Here is are some example images that are not taken very close:
|people lost in architecture|
|a group driving strange vehicles|
|people walking in front of a great backdrop|
Stay foolish...stay hungry!