- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2013

Officials in the Canadian city of Vancouver have decided to edge the doorknob out of existence.

A new amendment in the city’s building code said doorknobs and knobbed faucets will be replaced with lever handles in all future housing constructions, in an attempt to make things easier on senior citizens and disabled people, Fox News reported.

All existing doorknobs in the city are allowed to stay, but the new rule is part of Vancouver’s overall plan for a “universal design.”

“Basically, the idea is that you try to make environments that are as universally usable by any part of the population,” Tim Stainton, a professor and director of the School of Social Work at the University of B.C., told the Vancouver Sun. “The old model was adaptation, or adapted design. You took a space and you adapted for use of the person with a disability. What universal design says is, ‘Let’s turn it around and let’s just build everything so it is as usable by the largest segments of the population as possible.’


“Most people don’t think twice now about a doorknob in their office,” he continued. “They don’t think, ‘Oh, I don’t have a doorknob, but I have a lever.’ They don’t think of that lever as anything other than a way to open the door, and that is the logic here.”

Allen Joslyn, the president of the Antique Door Knob Collectors of America, thinks the amendment might go a little too far.

“I can understand if you have a public building where everybody wants to have free access and that is a problem,” he told the 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 overreach.”