Sounds like one of those weird old-timey laws about not being able to spit on a duck on Sundays in Savannah or ride a mule through a church in Little Rock, but this really just happened in the 21st century. As of March, all new doors and sinks in the city of Vancouver will be required to use levers which can be opened with the weight of a hand, arm, elbow, or foot. Because of old people. They have trouble with knobs, you know. From the Vancouver Sun:
“Vancouver’s interest in door handles instead of knobs stems from a little-known but important and developing concept called universal design.
“Tim Stainton, a professor and director of the School of Social Work at the University of B.C., says the concept is based around building a society as open as possible to everyone, rather than creating exceptions to fit a few.
“Basically, the idea is that you try to make environments that are as universally usable by any part of the population,” he said. “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.”
Vancouver’s rule is not retroactive to existing homes, but over time, the effect will become magnified as housing is replaced. And like low-flush toilets and LED light bulbs before it, expect the idea of a knob-less society to become status quo everywhere soon enough. My suggestion? Start collecting antique doorknobs NOW. Retro-knobbing is going to be ALL THE RAGE in 2035.