The following is excerpted from a story reported in the October 15, 2009 edition of The Los Angeles Times:
"We grow up thinking that somebody else should pay for parking," said Donald Shoup, a Yale-trained economist and UCLA urban planning professor who wrote "The High Cost of Free Parking," considered by many the definitive text on the subject. "The cost doesn't go away just because the driver doesn't pay for it."
Ideally, Shoup contends, a city would charge enough so that 85% of all parking spaces were occupied at any one time. If too many spaces are vacant, the price is too high. If no spaces are available, the price is too low.