Academic Probation
Brinson with the crosswalk button he managed to crack.
Brent Constantin/the Gauntlet

Man pushes crosswalk button again, crosses street faster

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A University of Calgary student became a local hero earlier this week when his quick thinking and even quicker fingers allowed several pedestrians to cross an intersection in record time.

Shortly after 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28, third-year environmental sciences student David Brinson utilized his never-say-die attitude at the corner of 32 Ave. and Campus Dr. by repeatedly hitting the cross-walk button until the 'Walk' signal appeared, a strategy he said has helped him in the past.

"I never stop at just hitting it once," said Brinson, jabbing his finger into the air at mid-height. "If you keep hitting the button it makes the light change faster. I know because I timed it one time."

Others were also impressed by the skill Brinson exhibited in the areas of time saving and intelligence. Maintenance support worker Michael Davis had been waiting at the crossing for nearly 30 seconds and considered not crossing the street at all before Brinson arrived.

"All I knew was that I needed to get to the other side," said Davis, gesturing with his hands to denote the intersection. "Then all of a sudden this kid shows up and hits the button. I was like, 'Okay, I already did that' but then, no warning, he just up and hits it again and then again. By the time I lost track I was like, 'this guy's on to something.' "

"I was worried at first," said Cheryl McMahon, a cyclist and development studies instructor. "I always thought that when you pressed it again it cancelled the first press out, but I guess I was wrong."

Not all were as enthused with Brinson's accomplishment. Fourth-year business student Melissa Todd planned on driving through the intersection uninterrupted, when she was suddenly brought to a standstill.

"Just touch the button once," said Todd. "These timers are set up for a reason and when you go messing with them the whole network gets messed up, I'm pretty sure."

Though none of the witnesses interviewed were exactly certain how the traffic system was affected by repeated activation of the pedestrian button, all agreed it had to do with either sensors, 'timed disks' or fiber optics.

City of Calgary public works officer Rami Bardeesi stopped short of saying that Brinson should be hailed as an inspiration.

"Pushing the button doesn't do anything," Bardeesi said. "It's just annoying."

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Comments

Why is the Gauntlet covering this story (if it can even be called that) when students are being arrested for expressing controversial opinions on campus (just Google \'Carleton students arrested October 4, 2010\') and their story hasn\'t received front-page coverage?

@#1 One has as its purpose to troll for attention with tired amateurish media tactics during an otherwise boring academic week with a predictable and uninteresting ending, and the other is (this article | the Carleton students).

Given that the Carleton students were arrested a week after this issue came out, logically it follows that it was impossible for the humour section to write a story about that.

I don\'t get \'geek\' humour. A tree gave it\'s life for this?

Where the f#*k is Dave Chappelle at? What happened to cutting-edge? Order up some hookers and blow for the Gauntlet writers.

Good satirical piece

However, I\'m disappointed to see the lack of coverage on CivicCamp/SU\'s ward 1 candidates and the mayoral forum. There was a high turnout and student issues were brought up several times at the two forums. So it\'s bit weird...

A small piece on the ward 1 forum can fit in the Gauntlet newspaper (considering how the ward 1 alderman represents the University of Calgary on the council). Hell, the Gauntlet can run an online exclusive story about the CivicCamp mayoral forum?

I know my comment is going to get deleted, so I\'m just going to say I disagree with the Gauntlet editorial board.