Donald Shoup, the author, mentions parking meter 'disappearing into a city's general fund.' That's exactly what seems to have happened in Wilmington.
Old Pasadena, a historic business district in Pasadena, California, is the leading example of a battered area that dramatically improved after the city used parking meter revenue to finance added public services. Spending more than $1 million a year of meter money on new public services helped convert what had been a commercial skid row into one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern California.
If all parking revenue disappears into a city’s general fund, business leaders and residents probably won’t campaign for meters, even with all the sophisticated hardware now available to charge performance prices. If meter money stays in the neighborhood, it will probably be spent on things the residents value highly. And if new public spending in a neighborhood is financed by new revenue generated in that neighborhood, residents in the rest of the city will probably find this spending more acceptable.