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Does Pushing the 'Walk' Button Do Anything? (VIDEO)

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We've all seen the person who fidgets impatiently at a crosswalk while pressing the "walk" button a few zillion times, right? That scene is immediately proceeded by a similar -- yet less manic -- one: That of another guy who just witnessed the zillion button pushes who then pushes the button a few more times.

2013-06-07-CrossWalkLady.png

For good luck?

OCD?

Because it will make the light change faster?

Who knows? It's one of life's great mysteries, like how my second-grade daughter can finish an entire Chipotle burrito.

  • Anyway. Does pushing the walk button actually do anything?
  • Does repeated pressing result in pedestrians getting the chance to cross the street more quickly than if say, they only pressed the button once?
  • Or can a person end up just standing around hopelessly muttering if they don't push the button at all?

By the way, if you see that person maniacally pacing at the crosswalk while muttering curses under their breath, be sure and ask for an autograph, it's Gary Busey.

To find out what affect pushing the cross walk button really has, the new investigative series This vs That -- a show that's part Mythbusters, part Whose Line? and part 60 Minutes, surveyed dozens of stop lights and crosswalks all over Los Angeles between noon and midnight. We even partnered up with two legendary crime fighters -- who were at their day jobs pretending to be out of work actors who took pictures with tourists for tips in front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Below, the results of our investigation.

Jon Hotchkiss is the creator, EP, Director & Writer of This vs That. Like This vs That on Facebook.