Exactly, they didn't think about it. However, the frequency of their usage suggests that beta testers would have encountered AT LEAST once. Furthermore, these invisible walls are not being used strictly to aid in optimizing the map (player can never go here, therefore none of this needs rendering), indicating that a number of these immersion-breaking situations were deliberately added after the fact.
For example: you remember the ladder in the mineshaft at the beginning of Ravenholm? Have you ever tried climbing it without busting the lock on it? You can't. There's an invisible barrier above the metal barrier that prevents the player from climbing the ladder. If you destroy the lock, the barrier disappears. Can you possibly come up with an explanation that would require Valve to add the invisible barrier, or at least make it easier than doing the more realistic way? I sure as hell can't.
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