FINALLY!! Some people with some common sense! It is a matter of safety, especially for a family with kids. The horizontal piping extends the height of the wood railing and allows a more open, airy feel. It would have been wise to have done it on the catwalk as well. It is a long way down for a child, or anyone else, to fall and hit a wood floor! I am extremely concerned whenever I see open staircases, lofts and, above all, narrow catwalks!