The Antiplanner has never considered parking “subsidies” to be the serious problem that Donald Shoup thinks they are. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with cities pricing curbside parking at market rates. Toward that end, San Francisco’s plan to install parking meters whose rates vary depending on demand sounds just fine.
Unfortunately, the initial program is rather anemic, with rates varying no more than once a month. Instead, the city should allow rates to vary by the hour so that prices are always high enough to allow people to find a few vacant parking spaces when they need them (and are willing to pay for them). Would this lead hordes of people to switch to mass transit? Probably not. But it would help relieve traffic congestion in San Francisco and other crowded cities.