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A sidewalk (chiefly North American English), pavement (British English, South African English and Philadelphia dialect), footpath (Australian English, Irish English, Indian English, Pakistani English and New Zealand English), platform (chiefly Indian English) or footway (Engineering term) is a path for pedestrians that is situated alongside a road or a paved pathway (such as a concrete 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.

Sometimes, a sidewalk is next to its street or road with perhaps only a curb in between. Sometimes, there is an area called a parkway or tree lawn in between the sidewalk and the street. For a photo showing a parkway, see image "Sidewalk in Oak Park, Illinois" in the gallery below.

Construction of sidewalks

4 types of brick-laying for sidewalks
A vibrator is often used to prepare the soil before laying the bricks
Navy personnel building a concrete sidewalk
While some assert that Arthur Wesley Hall and William Alexander McVay invented concrete sidewalks and partitions in St. Stephen, New Brunswickmarker in 1924, (),concrete pavements from the 1860's onwards can be found in good repair all over the older districts of San Francisco, having survived the 1906 quake, and stamped with the name of the contractor and date of installation. 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 Statesmarker and Canadamarker), tarmac, asphalt, brick (particularly in Europe), stone, slab or (increasingly) rubber[8290]. Multi-use paths alongside roads are sometimes made of materials that are softer than concrete, such as asphalt.

In the United Statesmarker, 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. Brick sidewalk construction usually involves the usage of a mechanical vibrator to lock the bricks in place after they have been laid (and/or to prepare the soil before laying). Although this might also be done by other tools (as regular hammers and heavy rolls), a vibrator is often used to speed up the process.

In other countries, suburban pavements are most commonly used. This kind of approach (using pavements) is more economical and sometimes more environmentally-friendly, depending on what material is used (e.g. trass instead of energy intensive Portland cement concrete or petroleum-based materials as asphalt or tar-penetration macadam). In the United Kingdommarker the suburban pavements are most commonly constructed of tarmac, which is however not more environmentally-friendly. 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

Research commissioned for the Florida Department of Transportation, published in 2005, found that, in Florida, the Crash Reduction Factor (used to estimate the expected reduction of crashes during a given period) resulting from the installation of sidewalks averaged 74%.Research carried out by the U.S. Department of Transportation found that, compared to sidewalks, the maximum speed limit was a much more significant factor in the likelihood of a vehicle/pedestrian crash. Sidewalk presence had a risk ratio of 0.118, which means that the likelihood of a road with a paved sidewalk being a crash site was 88.2 percent lower than a road without a sidewalk. The speed limit risk ratio was 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.

Image Gallery

Image:Sidewalk Panoramic.jpg|Panoramic shot of a concrete sidewalk in Agoura Hills, Californiamarker, USAmarkerImage:Venus De Sidewalk.JPG|Rendition of Venus on a sidewalk in New York Citymarker, USAmarkerImage:Mater_Dei.jpg|Sidewalk leading to Mater Dei High Schoolmarker in New Jersey, USAmarkerImage:JerusalemGardens5.jpg|Natural stone paving at Mamilamarker St., JerusalemmarkerImage:2008-07-25 Research Triangle Park Headquarters sidewalk.jpg|Newly built sidewalk at RTP Headquarters in Research Triangle Parkmarker, North Carolinamarker, USAmarkerFile:Copacabana Pavement Mosaik.jpg|The Copacabana beachmarker sidewalk pavement in Rio de Janeiromarker, BrazilmarkerImage:Oak Park Boulevard.jpg|Sidewalk in Oak Park, Illinoismarker, USAmarker. There is a parkway to the right of the sidewalk.Image:Bedford St sidewalk jeh.JPG|Some sidewalks are narrow

See also


  1. Memorable Maritime Inventions (1828-1930) Page 7

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