I shoot in manual , i set the the shutter and aperture according to the conditions i'm working in before i start shooting and check the exposure regularly, works for me, its second nature to me now, i leave nothing for the camera to decide. You really want a decent shutter for street work with people. I'm not interested in Bokeh personally for this type of photography, bokeh is just a bi-product of me using a wide aperture when the light gets tough. But i do use fast lenses as light & environment changes.
if anybody is a little apprehensive about taking street shots of people, i'd like them not to be. But I understand that we don't all have the same make-up but you really are doing a good thing, never forget that. Print some cards with your email address on ect, if you enter in to a conversation with those you've shot give them your card & let them know you'll mail them the shot. It's going to be rare as hens teeth that you get bad vibes.
Be confident, be open; You've nothing to hide so don't look like you're hiding, it's having a stranger acting suspect across the street that is going to get you in to trouble, not taking someone's photograph
It's generally better in crowds, the more people the better the chances of getting a shot naturally, and the less any subject will feel like they've just been picked out. If you're in a crowd and shoot somebody and they notice, shoot somebody else close by to them, basically says, i'm not just interested in you, don't worry i'm not stalking you. This is what i use for my bar shots, i might shoot things that i have no interest in, I'm just saying to those around me, that if you notice me shooting you-they rarley do, but if they do. They know where i'm coming from. I've had many people ask me to take their photo in bars when they've noticd me taking my candids of others, none of which are the people in my gallery, but i'm going to make a gallery of those shots. Just snaps, but reminds me that what im doing is a good thing, not that i need it
Have faith in yourself and what you are doing