"California is choking on its own traffic," said Richard Katz (D-Sylmar), chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, in a recent letter to The Times.
"While vehicles have multiplied on the state's roads and freeways, politicians in Washington and Sacramento and local governments everywhere have pontificated and whined and argued and studied everything concerning transportation," Katz writes.
"We've come up with just about everything but specific, comprehensive solutions."
Well then, maybe it's time that teen-agers offered their advice.
Hot Topics wonders, "How would you solve the problem of traffic on the streets and freeways of Southern California?"
"Drive a tank."
Otto Liao, 17,
"Put a toll on all freeways."
Jennifer Skeggs, 17,
Chris Webb, 17,
"Start seriously thinking about car-pooling."
Ross Ginn, 15,
"A law where big rigs have to be off the street at rush hours."
John Zubas, 14,
"If auto manufacturers could make cars smaller on the outside and bigger on the inside, we could put up to four times the amount of traffic lanes on already existing streets without any additional construction."
Ed Monroe, 17,
"The only possibility would be for businesses to stagger working hours. This could be done with little difficulty and without government prying into our lives."
E. K. Thrane, 16,
sophomore, Mission Viejo
"They should make it a law that if only one person is in a car, he or she should get a ticket."
Renee Ormiston, 16,
"The government should have people start work at different times."
Kelli Smith, 17,
"Get the semis off the road during the busy hours."
Shashona Padilla, 15,
sophomore, San Clemente
"Have a better public transportation system like in Japan, New York or even San Francisco."
Mayumi Takada, 17,
senior, Sunny Hills
"Widen the streets."
Derrick May, 17,
senior, Sunny Hills
"I'd drive my motorcycle between cars."
Joe Martin, 18,
"I drive different hours--at 5 a.m., when there's no traffic around."
John Bryant, 18,
"Drive on the side streets."
Amy Steinberg, 17,
"By developing more subways or use flying cars."
Debbie Hughes, 17,
"Develop better public transportation systems so that there are fewer cars on the streets."
Helen De La Maza, 15,
"There needs to be an integrated public transport system, such as a network of trains or subways. This system has worked in many other major cities."
Tina Williams, 17,
"There should be signs posted in order to control the flow of traffic."
James Yee, 17,
"Promote more people who work at the same place to car-pool. Widen freeways and hopefully soon, the super-conductivity research will come to a point that our cars will be on rails."
Allison Roberts, 17,
senior, Villa Park
"Cars should be banned from the state. An escalator system should be built to take people to places."
Jia Annuyuh, 14,
"Work times should be made at different hours so there won't be 'rush hours' at certain times."
Hannah Elinson, 14,
Hot Topic responses gathered by Joanna Brooks, Angela Conner, John Doney, Rebecca Leung, Crystal Fu, Jenny Kaplan, Lynda Kim, Kyra Kirkwood, Joo Young Lee, Monica Neal, Heather Orey, Cindy Shaver, Janet Stouder, Jana Swail, Jean Wei and Ed White.
DR, GABRIEL SALDIVAR