All the meters are part of the internet of things. They are intelligent and can talk to each other. Each meter has five leds/lamps that can be seen day and night by traffic passing by.
Normally no led are lit. Normally a dollar ( or 5 or ?) gets you the space for 8 hours. One LED lit 4 hours. 2
leds lit 2 hours.
All 5 lit means 20 minutes.
One renewal for the same fee. Then the tow truck is called by the meter network, if it is not already idling next to the space. Fines or impoundment stiff enough so even the limos
and UPS trucks decide to move along.
An internet site giving the current state of all meters would make it easier find vacancies, likely vacancies, likely charges. A history for Fridays at 2.30 at your destination would help people plan.
The potential parker bids by moving down to the next block where meters have fewer lights. Or three blocks where it is even cheaper. Some indicator of when any particular space will be available should also be displayed, perhaps by blinking when three or fewer minutes are left. If the passing traffic has to slow down to read the meter, than your doing it wrong.
Meter network optimized to keep complaints at a minimum until a better formula is found.