Those people who write parking tickets, long the bane of tourists, commuters and residents of the nation's capital, finally have admitted that they have a quota of issuing 90 tickets a day.

The District of Columbia's new city administrator, who has been flooded by complaints about the ticket-happy ways downtown, says she wants the practice changed. When no one could account for why 90 became the magic ticket number, D.C. Chief Management Officer Camille C. Barnett challenged a group of parking officials to come up with a system they could explain."Your job is the fair regulation of parking," Barnett told them. "It is not giving tickets."

A Washington Post reporter, allowed to sit in on the closed-door meeting between Barnett and the officials, recounted the story in Wednesday's editions of the paper.

The quota typically must be filled during a six-hour work day, adding pressure for patrollers to write fast and furious regardless of traffic or congestion.