Studies like the one mentioned in this article are great, but don’t they really confirm what we already know. If parking is free, people will abuse it and if you have to pay, they are less likely to do so.
In this case, folks in New Zealand surveyed an on street parking area. In places where there is a time limit for parking (two hours free) there were few if any open spaces and local employees parked there and moved their cars every couple of hours. In areas where there was a time charge (say 50 cents an hour), this did not occur and there were a few open spaces so customers could easily find places to park.
I know it seems obvious on its face, but remember that you are dealing with local governments here. The use of logic is often wasted on elected officials. However a nice expensive study done by “experts” that can be put in a file and blamed when all hell breaks loose is much better.
I guess that makes sense. We have to keep the government money consuming machine going.