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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.



United States

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.[1]

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.[2] The term footpath is used for pedestrian paths that are not next to a road.

United Kingdom

The most common term in everyday usage is Pavement.[3] The professional, civil engineering and legal term for this is footway.[4] Legally the term footpath is only used for paths that are not associated with a highway.[5]

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.[6]

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'.[7]

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