AskDefine | Define sidewalk

Dictionary Definition

sidewalk n : walk consisting of a paved area for pedestrians; usually beside a street or roadway [syn: pavement]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. a paved footpath at the side of a road for the use of pedestrians; a pavement (UK) or footpath (Aus)


paved footpath

Extensive Definition

A sidewalk (chiefly North American English), pavement (British English and Philadelphia dialect), footpath (Australian English, Irish English, Indian English and New Zealand English) or footway (Engineering term) is a path for pedestrians that is situated alongside a road or formed like sidewalks that are alongside roads (such as a cement footpath through a park). A sidewalk may accommodate moderate changes in grade. However, "walkway" is a more complete term for support of walking, and includes stairs, ramps, paseos (passageways) and related off-street tools that provide for a developed pathway.

Construction of sidewalks

In the 19th century and early 20th century, sidewalks of wood were common in some locations. They may still be found at historic beach locations and in conservation areas to protect the land beneath and around, called boardwalks. Contemporary sidewalks are most often made of concrete (particularly in the United States and Canada), tarmac, asphalt, brick (particularly in Europe), stone, slab or (increasingly) rubber Multi-use paths alongside roads are sometimes made of materials that are softer than cement, such as asphalt.
In the United States, the most common type of sidewalk consists of a poured concrete ribbon with cross-lying strain relief grooves at intervals of ~1 m; this is intended to minimize visible damage from tectonic and temperature fluctuations, both of which can crack longer segments. However, freeze-thaw cycles (in cold-weather regions) and tree root growth can eventually result in damage which requires repair. Brick sidewalks are found in some urban areas, usually for aesthetic purposes.
In the United Kingdom suburban pavements are most commonly constructed of tarmac similar to a typical roadway surface. In urban or inner-city areas pavements are most commonly constructed of slabs, stone, or brick depending upon the surrounding street architecture and furniture
Stone slabs called flagstones or flags are sometimes used where an attractive appearance is required, as in historic town centres. In other places, pre-cast concrete slabs (called paving slabs or, less correctly, paving stones) are used. These may be coloured or textured to resemble stone.

Effects of sidewalks

The Crash Reduction Factor (used to estimate the expected reduction of crashes during a given period) for the installation of sidewalks averages 74%. Note that, compared to sidewalks, the maximum speed limit is a much more significant factor in the likelihood of a vehicle/pedestrian crash. Sidewalk presence has a risk ratio of 0.118, which means that the likelihood of a site with a paved sidewalk being a crash site is 88.2 percent lower than a site without a sidewalk. The speed limit risk ratio is 1.116, which means that a 16.1-km/h (10-mi/h) increase in the limit yields a factor of (1.116)10 or 3.

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External links

sidewalk in Catalan: Vorera
sidewalk in Czech: Chodník
sidewalk in Danish: Fortov
sidewalk in German: Gehweg
sidewalk in Spanish: Acera
sidewalk in Esperanto: Trotuaro
sidewalk in Basque: Espaloi
sidewalk in French: Trottoir
sidewalk in Scottish Gaelic: Cabhsair
sidewalk in Croatian: Nogostup
sidewalk in Indonesian: Trotoar
sidewalk in Italian: Marciapiede
sidewalk in Hebrew: מדרכה
sidewalk in Macedonian: Тротоар
sidewalk in Dutch: Voetpad
sidewalk in Japanese: 歩道
sidewalk in Norwegian: Fortau
sidewalk in Polish: Chodnik (droga)
sidewalk in Russian: Тротуар
sidewalk in Swedish: Trottoar
sidewalk in Turkish: Yaya kaldırımı
sidewalk in Ukrainian: Тротуар
sidewalk in Chinese: 人行道

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

alameda, beaten path, beaten track, berm, bicycle path, boardwalk, bridle path, catwalk, esplanade, fastwalk, foot pavement, footpath, footway, garden path, groove, hiking trail, mall, parade, path, pathway, pavement, prado, promenade, public walk, run, runway, rut, towing path, towpath, track, trail, trottoir, walk, walkway
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