A sidewalk (chiefly
North American English), pavement ( British Englishand Philadelphia dialect), footpath ( Australian English, Irish English, Indian Englishand New Zealand English) or footway ( Engineeringterm) is a path for pedestrians that is situated alongside a roador formed like sidewalks that are alongside roads (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.
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 Statesand Canada), tarmac, asphalt, brick(particularly in Europe), stone, slabor (increasingly) rubber[http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-09-19-sidewalks_x.htm] . Multi-use paths alongside roads are sometimes made of materials that are softer than concrete, such as asphalt.
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. 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 Kingdomthe suburban pavements are most commonly constructed of tarmac, which is however not more environmentally-friendly. In urban or inner-cityareas pavements are most commonly constructed of slabs, stone, or brick depending upon the surrounding street architectureand 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%. [cite paper
first = Albert
last = Gan
coauthors = Joan Shen, Adriana Rodriquez
title = Update of Florida Crash Reduction Factors and Countermeasures to Improve the Development of District Safety Improvement Projects
publisher = State of Florida DOT
date = 2005
url = http://www.dot.state.fl.us/research-Center/Completed_Proj/Summary_SF/FDOT_BD015_04_rpt.pdf
format = PDF
id = BD015-04.
accessdate = 2008-03-24] 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. [cite paper
author = McMahon, Patrick J.
coauthors = Charles V. Zegeer, Chandler Duncan,Richard L. Knoblauch, J. Richard Stewart, Asad J. Khattak
title = AN ANALYSIS OF FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO "WALKING ALONG ROADWAY" CRASHES, RESEARCH STUDY AND GUIDELINES FOR SIDEWALKS AND WALKWAYS
publisher = Federal Highway Administration
date = 2002
url = http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/19000/19900/19995/PB2003102002.pdf
format = PDF
id = FHWA-RD-01-101.
accessdate = 2008-03-24]
* [http://www.lawalks.org Los Alamos Walkability Advocacy Group]
* [http://www.peds.org PEDS] a member-based advocacy group dedicated to making metro Atlanta safe and accessible for all pedestrians.
* [http://www.walkinginfo.org Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC)] , a U.S.A.-based clearinghouse for information for pedestrians (including transit users) and bicyclists.
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