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Vancouver Bans Doorknob as Move Towards Accessibility

Just like 'burning a CD' and 'rolling down the car window,' there may soon come a day when kids will not know the meaning of the phrase 'dumb as a doorknob.' 
Thanks to new building code legislation, Vancouver will be the first city in Canada to ban doorknobs. In all new construction starting this March, they will be replaced with levers, International Business Times reported. The ban also extends to all faucets. 

 

 

The Vancouver city council voted to amend its building code in September, and with that came the decision to make doorknobs a thing of the past -- although existing structures are now grandfathered into the new code. 
Vancouver is the only city in Canada with its own building code, according to the Vancouver Sun, and it often influences building codes within the rest of Canada. 
The move was meant to help make the city even more accessible and help the "arthritic, gnarled or weakened hands we earn with age," wrote the Vancouver Sun, which notes cut curbs at sidewalk corners as an example of similar "universally accessible" design.
The accessibility reason -- and, really, the fact that doorknobs were being discussed at such great lengths -- also spurred sarcasm and jokes online.
However, doorknobs also serve a decorative function for many collectors, and the new building code has left some people concerned that they will not be able to have them in their own homes.
"To say that when I build my private home and nobody is disabled that I have to put levers on, strikes me as overreach," Allen Joslyn, president of the Antique Door Knob Collectors of America, told the International Business Times.
 
 
Former building inspector Will Johnson, who helped write the new code, said it is "simply good design" and told the Sun it's not a loss if doorknobs are gone for good.
"When I look at what we are proposing, it is simply good design. It allows for homes to be built that can be used more easily for everybody," he said.
 

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