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I imagine they'll put a ceiling on the price, but no floor. But if not, at the margin people will choose other means to travel at busy parking times because they know -- at least after the first trip -- that they will be charged $50/hour on the fourth of July. Also, people may choose to leave the city more quickly if the parking price is high. If demand for parking remains consistently high, this may also make it more feasible to build larger parking structures or improve the ones that already exist. Also, the higher prevailing prices for streetside parking may bring other players into the game (like hotels or office buildings) that had before not seen the economic advantage to opening their parking to non-tenants.

It's not as though people only become economic participants in the parking market when they arrive; they make the choice to participate when they choose to leave the house and when they choose to stay in the city for four hours rather than two.

Regarding the smashed meter problem, it should be a simple matter to add cameras to the devices.

The ceiling, in this case, is $6/hour. The floor is $.25 per hour. Yep, in some areas at some times of day, parking that was formerly expensive (but lightly used) could become free.

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