If that's what I meant, that is what I would have said. I did not. You keep making things up and then expecting me to defend them.
There's a reason I used a question mark in my attempted restatement of your position. I'm trying to clarify Because the phrase "ten percent of your users" is kind of ambiguous from the perspective of how a time shared resource is utilized.
Let me rephrase more precisely: "Number of occupied parking spaces" and "time spent in a space by the median parking consumer" are both random variables whose statistical properties change during the day. What does it mean to lose ten percent of your users in that sense? Does it mean that there will be ten percent fewer events of the type "person enters and leaves a parking space?" If so, I disagree with the notion that properly set prices will cause this to happen. If something else, please state it clearly.
More to the point: What are the properties of a set of parking spaces when they're used at maximum efficiency? Is turnover maximized? Is the time the average space spends in the "empty" state minimized? Is time spent looking for a space minimized? I would argue that high turnover and low search times while keeping most of the spaces full most of the time should be the goal. If search times are high, prices are too low. If search times are low because the spaces are mostly empty, prices are too high.
They're not going to feed the meter for another hour unless they really need it, and at that point effect 1 comes into play.
So that's effect number 1, which you and I agree on. You just ignored the more basic effect of (2): that increased prices will reduce the number of hours people buy in the first place. Do we disagree that (2) will happen at all, or do you think that the effect of (1) will dominate? Because in the actual real measured world, (2) dominates (1).
If I have paid an extreme amount (in my opinion) for a certain time on a meter, then I am less willing to just walk away from that investment.
You're also less willing to feed unnecessary amounts of money into the meter in the first place.
If I pay a quarter for an hour at a meter and my business is done in ten minutes, then I don't feel bad about just leaving, opening up the space for the next user. If I pay a dollar for the same amount of time, I'm more likely to see 50 minutes left on the meter when I get done and think "I'm already here, I might as well do something else."
You have a very strange notion of how parking meters work. I've never seen a meter that charges $1 per hour and has a minimum 1 hour purchase. At every meter I've ever seen, you can purchase a few minutes. If you know that you're likely to spend 10 minutes in the store, why would you buy an hour of time? Maybe you would if it only cost a quarter. But if it cost, say $10, you'd probably do what most people do and pay for $2.50 for 15 minutes, do your business, and get out. That's how parking meters really work, especially in a city like SF with the most advanced meters in the country, and especially when you're implementing congestion pricing with the explicit goal of decreasing loiter times.
It is simply absurd to price something to deliberately reduce demand and then deny that you've reduced demand, or at least tried to.
For somebody who screams about "making things up" you've certainly jumped to a weird conclusion about what I'm saying. Raising the price will reduce demand (supply, actually, according to the classic microeconomics terminology) in the sense that it will reduce willingness to occupy the space for a given amount of time. That will have a few effects:
1) Increased turnover.
2) Because of (1), we get increased probability that at any point in time, there will be an empty space.
3) Because of (2), we get decreased time spent looking for spaces, which reduces traffic congestion, driver frustration, and uncertainty about whether you'll be able to find parking when you need it.
If the price is set properly, the spaces should still be mostly full most of the time, so we're not wasting parking spaces by leaving them empty. We've just decreased the amount of time any one person spends in a space, which seems to be what you and I both want. If your thought experiment has increased prices decreasing turnover, it's conflicting with real world experiments, so there's probably something wrong with it.
Your assumption seems to be that a public resource must be priced at a rate to limit demand to what is available, thus optimizing return on investment, not just to cover the costs of providing that service.
It's not at all about optimizing return on investment. It's about efficient allocation of scarce resources and the problems that are created when people try to overconsume those scarce resources. Overcrowded parking is a huge expense in dense cities because people create congestion while driving around looking for spots. The SF Park system was able to dynamically set prices so that there was at least one open space for every N spaces. It kept turnover high and it ensured that people who really need spaces will be able to get them without much cruising. It also distributed parking more uniformly--dynamic pricing encouraged people to park in less busy areas instead of constantly driving around the most congested ones.
With dynamic pricing, really busy spaces cost a lot, keeping people there for short periods of time. Any jackass who tries to occupy the "last" space in order to ransom it off will find that he's paying an exorbitant rate for it and that he's competing with empty spaces that pop up all around him because of the increased turnover. It becomes a money-losing activity.