A sidewalk (also pavement, footpath, footway, and sometimes platform) is a path along the side of a road. A sidewalk may accommodate moderate changes in grade (height) and is normally separated from the vehicular section by a curb (British spelling: kerb), there may also be a strip of vegetation, grass or bushes or trees or a combination of these between the pedestrian section and the vehicular section (known as a parkway/tree lawn in the United States).
In some places, the same term may also be used for a paved path, trail or footpath that is not next to a road, for example, a path through a park.
The term Sidewalk is used for the pedestrian path beside a road. Shared-use path and multi-use path is reserved for use for ones available for use by both pedestrians and bicyclists.
Walkway is a more comprehensive term that includes stairs, ramps, paseos (passageways), and related structures that facilitate the use of a path as well as the sidewalk. The term footpath is used for pedestrian paths that are not next to a road.
The most common term in everyday usage is Pavement. The professional, civil engineering and legal term for this is footway. Legally the term footpath is only used for paths that are not associated with a highway.
In professional and common usage, the term shared-use path is used where cyclists are also able to use the same section of path as pedestrians. The term Segregated footway can be used for a shared-use path where separate parts of the path are allocated to cyclists and pedestrians. Cycle Track is the legal term for both of these.
According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (third edition 1933) the term sidewalk was still in occasional use in the UK and pavement was also used for: 'a piece of paved work'; 'the superficial covering of a floor, yard, street etc' as well as for 'the paved part of a public thoroughfare, but now only the paved footway by the side of the street'.
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