The following excerpt was taken from the1992 edition of the Transportation Planning Handbook, published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (p. 175).
Off-street facilities range from the parking pad, carport, or garage of a single-family home to lots or garages serving large parking generators such as shopping centers, airports, and sporting events. Most off-street parking is accommodated in free facilities (technically this is a misnomer, since all parking carries a cost which is reflected in the price of a home, the rent of a retail or commercial building, the price of a product, etc). However, this term is used to distinguish from those types of commercial facilities which charge a specific fee to the driver. . . .
Unfortunately, a large supply of parking also is provided at the curb, along streets. The use of streets for curb parking exacts a heavy toll in accidents and congestion (along the more heavily traveled routes). While most curb parking is free and open to the general public, the use of parking meters in business areas converts the street curb to a charge, or revenue producing, operation. Additionally, some curb spaces are limited to specific users such as bus stops and loading zones for trucks, taxis, or passenger pickup/drop-off.