The District of Columbia's traffic enforcers beat MetroScene to the punch, it turns out, but not by much.

On Friday afternoon, after I and a Washington Post photographer paid separate visits to a car illegally parked for at least two weeks aside a meter in the 1100 block of 22d Street NW, the city's people came and towed it away. The existence of the long-overparked car was reported in Saturday's column.

Fred Caponiti, the D.C. Transportation Department's public parking administrator, said his inquiry showed that no urgent tow away was ordered because (1) the car was not in a critical traffic zone, (2) his agency has only five tow trucks on the street in the afternoon rush hour and must assign priorities and (3) it appeared the car was abandoned, not merely overtime-parked, and therefore should be removed by the city's Environmental Services Department, which as a severe backlog.

In any event, it was a citizen's telephone call -- perhaps from this column's tipster -- that sparked the removal.

Caponiti said a study is under way of possible joint enforcement by his agency and Environmental Services, which could increase efficiency, but no recommendation has yet been made to the mayor.

Still unanswered: why didn't the car have a ticket for every two hours of meter violations over a two-week period as well as for every rush-hour no-parking violation, at least nine by our reckoning? It had only four tickets, one for a technical nontraffic infraction.