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The city of Vancouver has banned doorknobs in new constructions.

Wrist-twisting doorknobs will be replaced with levers to make it easier on seniors and those with disabilities, city spokeswoman Viviana Zanocco told AFP on Thursday.

The new rules are included in an amended building code, which takes effect March 1, 2014, but will not apply retroactively to older buildings.

“This is very progressive of Vancouver,” Howard Gerry, a design professor at Toronto’s OCAD University, told the daily Toronto Star.

“It makes good sense, even for private houses. Think about an ageing population or an individual carrying groceries or small children. Levers make access easier.”

Others such as antique doorknob sellers, however, were flying off the handle over the measure.

“I can understand if you have a public building where everybody wants to have free access and that is a problem,” Allen Joslyn, the president of the Antique Door Knob Collectors of America, told the Vancouver Sun.

“But to say that when I build my private home and nobody is disabled that I have to put levers on, strikes me as over-reach.

 
  • Lever handles make it extremely easy for small children to get out of the house without any effort. Bad idea. If there is a lever to pull or grab onto, all kids I know are going to grab it.

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