The city of Duluth has a problem. and they went to the master. The city asked professor Don Shoup how to handle this issue:
The City of Duluth allows contractors and utilities to take out permits to
park at parking meters. This appears to be normal. The administration of the
City along with the City Council wants to institute a program, whereby
residents could purchase permits that would allow them to park at meters.
Currently the on-street parking meters are for turnover, the administration
is looking at increasing the size of the parking meter zones to increase
revenue. The limited listing on the internet have only a few municipalities
that have this sort of resident permit for parking at meters and all seem
to have controls based on high fees
He responded as such:
One suggestion would be for Duluth to let residents use in-vehicle parking
meters to park at the curb in metered districts, at a discount. These
in-vehicle meters are explained in Chapter 15 of The High Cost of Free
Parking. Pages 442-447 also discuss how residents can pay discounted rates
for curb parking.
I wouldn’t push for the option that residents should
park in metered spaces for nothing. Many people object to freeloaders, but
paying a discounted rate with the convenience of in-vehicle meters should appeal
to may residents.
I am particularly interested in his last paragraph. Giving away "free" parking is the road to disaster. Not only will folks cheat like mad, but there are issues with enforcement, and the like. The city of Vail, Colorado, uses practically every type of technique to collect parking fees including pay and display, permits, in car meters, debit cards and single space meters.