04/24/2014 06:16 EDT | Updated 04/25/2014 01:59 EDT

Vancouver Doorknobs Won't Get You Eaten By Bears

We thought the uproar had settled on a new Vancouver bylaw that kicked in last month and requires all doors in new buildings be equipped with lever handles instead of old-fashioned knobs.

But apparently there's a risk that Vancouverites are now exposed to BEAR attacks due to the doorknob policy.

Doorknob manufacturers and home builders grumbled about the change, but The Economist has found a "more sinister worry." In an article published last weekend, the magazine said:

True, elderly and disabled people find it easier to operate doors with handles. But so do bears. In British Columbia, bears have been known to scavenge for food inside cars — whose doors have handles, knob advocates point out. Pitkin County, Colorado, in the United States, has banned door levers on buildings for this very reason. One newspaper columnist in the pro-knob camp has noted that the velociraptors in “Jurassic Park” were able to open doors by their handles.


To set the record straight, Vancouver Coun. Geoff Meggs told The Huffington Post B.C.: "I can say categorically that the risk of bear attack was not factored in, because there hasn't been a live bear spotted in city limits in a very long time."

Meggs did, however, disclose that he has heard of another hypothetically grizzly situation.

"One writer suggested kids of a certain height would lose their eyes," he said. "I've been trying to recreate that scenario: maybe running sideways against a wall, they might bang their head into a lever, I don't know."

Vancouver's doorknob bylaw is designed to increase accessibility for people who may have difficulty turning knobs. Meggs said he's received only positive feedback from around the world about the policy, especially from people with disabilities.

As for the naysayers, they can just grin and bear it.

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