With everybody concerned by the bumper-to-bumper conditions on our streets and freeways, it should come as no surprise that the county's high schools are having their own particular form of gridlock in parking lots.
No matter how many students attend a particular school, at that final bell for the day, a majority of its student body tries to be the first out of the parking lot. And conditions get worse come spring, when sophomores turn 16 and add to the pool of cars.
Here are some responses to this week's hot topic: "How would you solve the problem of your school's overcrowded parking lot?"
"Parking spaces should be reserved for seniors only. Adding on to (the parking lot) may be another solution."
--Tracy Schleker, 17, senior, Cypress
"Issue the same number of parking permits as we have parking spaces on a first-come, first-served basis and we will have no problem."
--Wendell Vicente, 17, senior, Cypress
"Making some of the spaces more compact for smaller cars can make more room in the student parking lot."
--Shelby Stemberger, 16, sophomore, Cypress
"I would probably make a bigger parking lot. Either that or make smaller cars."
--Ed Seibold, 17, junior, Dana Hills
"I'd just design it better. If you have money to burn, maybe add another parking level."
--Dru Brislen, 17, junior, Dana Hills
"Being a sophomore and not being allowed to park in the student parking lot, I have to walk one-fourth the distance I drive to get to school. They should make a second level to the parking lot."
--Lauri Seamark, 16, sophomore, El Toro
"A parking structure would be nice, but it would never work because it's so costly. Maybe they should open the side streets or issue special parking passes only to juniors and seniors."
--Iristina McCarthy, 18, senior, El Toro
"They should auction off spaces or take the no-parking signs off the side streets."
--Kara Rehwoldt, 17, junior, El Toro
"You could charge a certain amount of money at registration, and they could buy a parking space. We were going to do that this year. We almost had to, since Esperanza is so big."
--Sara Newhan, 18, senior, Esperanza
"Limit parking in order of classes. Seniors should get first priority and then on down. You should be able to get parking lot numbers when you register."
--Lara Cummins, 16, junior, Kennedy
"Get the teachers to park in their own parking lot and then first-come, first-served. If that fails, we should get bigger parking lots."
--Greg Hansell, 17, junior, Kennedy
"Juniors and seniors should have priority in the parking lot. The sophomores, if they drive to school, should have to park in the street."
--Bill Schellenberg, 17, junior, Laguna Hills
"There isn't a problem with parking. If people complain that there isn't enough parking space, it's their own fault. They can always come as early as they want and get a parking space."
--Mike Helm, 17, junior, Laguna Hills
"I would solve the problem by installing parking meters on every stall, but have my own personal spot reserved for my private use."
--Cody Garribrandt, 16, senior, Los Alamitos
"Strictly enforce that only seniors get to park and assigned private spaces."
--Nicki Furgiuele, 17, senior, Los Alamitos
"Reserve the first half of the parking lot for senior parking. The rest of the permits would be given out on a first-come, first-served basis."
--Betty Nehrenberg, 18, senior, Los Alamitos
"Repave the parking lot and have it architecturally redesigned to fit more cars."
--Jason Leveke, 17, junior, Mater Dei
"Allow students to park the cars on campus every day."
--Carlos Monteil, 16, junior, Mater Dei
"First-come, first-served, with perhaps 10 spots up front raffled off for a short time."
--Anna Pezzetti, 16, junior, Orange
"I say that seniors get first privilege or that they build a parking structure. Take out the Agriculture Department."
--Cindy Lu, 17, senior, Orange
"There are three ways to solving this problem: 1) Install a three-level parking lot complete with elevators and validated parking, 2) Stay at home, 3) Make the teachers take the bus."
--Shannon Doran, 16, junior, Rosary
"Our school rips off the students by overselling spaces. They sell more permits than spaces. I think they should have assigned parking for everyone on a first-come first-served basis."
--Renee Block, 18, senior, Rosary
"We don't have a parking lot. We need a parking lot! I hate having to come to school at 7 in the morning to find a parking spot."
--Suzi McDaniel, 17, senior, Santa Ana
"They should have the street cleaning on weekends because it takes away badly needed parking, making our parking problem even worse."
--Shawn Sullivan, 17, senior, Santa Ana
"Relocate the people who live around the school and make their homes into parking lots."
--Brandi Dart, 17, senior, Santa Ana
"The major problem in our parking lot is that we don't have enough exits. With all the cars leaving at once, they are divided between only two exits. If they built more, the lines to leave would be shorter. Also, there wouldn't be as many accidents. The students want as much time as possible, so they cut each other off. We could also use more spaces. A lot of students have to park on the street and leaving from there is just as bad."
--Rachel Tuz, 16, junior, Trabuco Hills
"Parking permits should be limited to the number of spaces, with seniors getting top priority, followed by a lottery for the remaining spaces for underclassmen."
--Mark Uyeda, 17, senior, Troy
"There are way too many sophomores driving to school. We should find all those who should not be driving and take some action against them."
--Vicki Nay, 18, senior, Troy
Next Week's Hot Topic: "Do you believe song lyrics can have a negative effect on the listener?"