Talk:Sidewalk

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Asia: oops, no sidewalk[edit]

In Asia, etc. often sidewalks are forgotten. Add a survey page: comparison of sidewalks of each country. --Jidanni 2006-04-15

Retitle as "Pavement or Sidewalk"[edit]

I propose retitling this article as "Pavement or Sidewalk".

The proposal acts to enquire and comment on what Wikipedia policy is or should be on stylistic differences between national varieties of English. At present, Wikipedia policy covers grammar, spelling and capitalisation. It is strangely quiet about use of terms in the title. I notice the page on Autumn or Fall is headed "Autumn", and there is little discussion about which terms should be used in the title.

At present if you search on "Pavement", the result offers "Sidewalk" (through a disambiguation page). This is confusing for non-American English users. Using both words in the title is more accurate and inclusive, and I have written them alphabetically. Thus a search on either term would result in a page that covers the same concept (a pedestrian walkway running parallel to a road) but includes the relevant terms in the title.

(I am not proposing that "footpath" be included in the title as this term, in British English, can also mean any walkway.)

Retitling would be effected by redirecting the old page to a new page.

--217.16.87.168 08:44, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

A sidewalk is always a path to the side of a road for walking, but pavement (at least outside the UK) is a layered structure which forms the surface of a path, highway, runway, etc.
  • Which Wikipedia articles already have a title with two terms joined by the word "or"? --Wiley 13:06, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I would prefer it if this article was retitled pavement/sidewalk. Crazy Eddy 20:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Which Wikipedia articles already have a title with two terms joined by the symbol "/"? --Wiley 04:29, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Neither term on its own is satisfactory. So a solution is required. Is the lack of a precedent an absolute bar on developing a new rule? Actually I have not fully checked yet, but from what I know of Wikipedia, presumably this is NO. If the convention of using alternatives within a title has not been established, then surely there is a clear rule against it. I'd appreciate a heads-up on this from any interested reader. But really whatever the outcome, the first foregoing sentence herein is the defining point to deal with, that a mere redirect does not adequately overcome. --217.16.87.168 08:26, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Quoting from the Walsall Council’s Highways Maintenance Strategy 2005 - 2008:

  • Footway ............... part of a highway also comprising a carriageway that is set aside for the exclusive use of pedestrians often referred to as the pavement ... (American – sidewalk)
  • Footpath .............. a highway over which the public have a right of way on foot only, not being a footway (as in a footpath across a field).
  • Carriageway ........ a way constituting or comprised in a highway over which the public have a right of way for the passage of vehicles.
  • Pavement ............. a paved surface and the layers below the paved surface of a highway or any part of a highway or any hardened surface intended for the passage of any category of traffic. Thus one can have a footway pavement or a carriageway pavement.

Compared to pavement, footway would be less ambiguous for an article about sidewalks. --Wiley 16:18, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

How about "Roadside Walkway", or something like that? Rather along the lines of fixed-wing aircraft :) Any thoughts? EuroSong talk 22:11, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

"Roadside walkway" is an interesting suggestion. One on hand, "walkway" is an established term (an example; Ben Franklin Bridge Walkway Information) that would need to be limited to those which lie along side a road in this case. On the other hand, there is the naming conventions guideline: "Except where other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions give a different indication, use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things." While "pavement" does not satisfy the latter portion of the guideline (the primary meaning of pavement is not footway), "roadside walkway" also appears unsatisfactory because it is not the name most commonly used by English speakers as a whole. Using the suggested Google test for "roadside walkway" returns about 75 hits, "a pavement" returns about 679,000 and a search for "a sidewalk" returns about 2,560,000 hits. --Wiley 04:07, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Wiley - Footway is the correct engineering term (across different types of English) to describe the part of the highway designated for pedestrians and should be the title of this article with the commonly-used regional variants pointing to it 81.178.77.169 17:26, 23 November 2006 (UTC)


Hmm, this is a complicated one. But I'm pleased to see everyone's debating it peacefully and logically- there are some really immature talk pages out there. Anyway, I'd definatly agree with renaming it from Sidewalk but all the alternatives seem very tempting. Roadside walkway seemed good until you pointed out it is not the name most commonly used. I think Footway is best since it's the technical term and seems appropriate for an encyclopedia. There's a lot of other articles where the name is the technical term and the most commonly used terms (Generally regionalisations or colloquialisms) are redirects to it. Footway seems best. Simondrake 18:19, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was withdrawn by nominator.--Bobblehead 18:52, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

SidewalkFootway — Neutral engineering term for a construction that has a number of regionalisms and colloquialisms. EdC 01:34, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Add  # '''Support'''  or  # '''Oppose'''  on a new line in the appropriate section followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~. Please remember that this survey is not a vote, and please provide an explanation for your recommendation.

Survey - in support of the move[edit]

  1. Support – per nom. EdC 01:35, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
  2. Support - for reasons cited above. Also see WP:ENGVAR: "Try to find words that are common to all.", and Fixed-wing aircraft. Footway, if a bit contrived, is a term that is common to all forms of the language. While Sidewalk would have precedence over Pavement assuming there were no neutral term (WP:NC(CN): "that does not conflict with the names of other people or things", WP:ENGVAR: "Follow the dialect of the first contributor"), this is not the case here. -- Exitmoose 02:31, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Survey - in opposition to the move[edit]

  1. Oppose This looks another AME vs BE issue and, as far as I can tell, the article originated as sidewalk and has been sidewalk for sometime. There is no reason to move. 205.157.110.11 23:31, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
    Australian English has its own term as well. I'd agree that this was a petty AME v BE fight if the proposal was to move to Pavement, but Footway is a term in use in AME, BE, and Australian English, and as such confirms perfectly to WP:ENGVAR: "Try to find words that are common to all" -- Exitmoose 02:34, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
  2. Oppose While footway may be "neutral," it is apparently known mainly to engineers, and seems like it may actually be less common than any of the regionalisms. Also, sidewalk is the least ambiguous of the terms. While those outside North America may grouse about using the term sidewalk, they generally know what it is. At least, they don't confuse it with something else; the other terms like pavement and footpath have different meanings outside their regions, and even footway could be misinterpreted by ordinary people. Thus, while non-Americans may not like sidewalk, changing it to footway will inconvenience just about everyone. --Groggy Dice T | C 02:50, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
  3. Oppose--and I'd sure need something a whole lot more than an out-of-thin-air claim by an anonymous IP editor and the presumption of its truth by the nominator here before I'll ever believe anything about a common, neutral, and unambiguous "engineering term". Gene Nygaard 07:08, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
  4. Weak oppose I am not immune to the subtle charm of fixed-wing aircraft. But in this case: It's been here since 2002; why not leave it alone? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:05, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. This is clearly a US/UK issue, so leave it where it is. Also sidewalks are generally (always?) paved and I'm not sure that footway or footpath have the same restriction. And as pointed out below, the proposed name itself may in fact be ambiguous. Also footway shows up as a spelling error in US spell checkers so the suggestion that it is in use in the US is questionable. Vegaswikian 01:31, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
  6. Oppose. A google search seems to indicate that footway is primarily a British engineering specification. --Bobblehead 21:28, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Add any additional comments:

According to the OED, footway is ambiguous. It's been used for footpath since 1523; and it also means the system of ladders used to enter a mine. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:10, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

That seems fairly clear; in the light of majority opposition, and given that it seems that footway doesn't have the qualities of unambiguity and neutrality the nomination was advanced upon, I'm withdrawing the move request. –EdC 16:41, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Result[edit]

The result of the survey was to oppose a move. –EdC 16:41, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Etiquette[edit]

Here's a comment that Mebden added to my talk page on 2007-06-10T03:32:28, apparently in response to my reversion of his 2007-06-09T05:00:28 edit of Sidewalk --Wiley 04:08, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

forgive me but you've missed my point. this is not a controversial matter, but something to help people adjust to new social behaviours. do a google search and you'll see what i mean: there is a lot of confusion out there, which is arguably unnecessary.
as for definitive sources, good luck finding those. i wouldn't be surprised if the issue is mentioned in more than one book en passant, but referencing my words is the kind of thing best done by someone who knows one of these potential books you speak of. perhaps in a few years i might come across one by accident (bill bryson?!) but i'm not holding my breath.
i suppose i think more like a researcher and you think more like a cataloguer. the important similarity is that i haven't written anything on wikipedia that isn't factual.

a sidewalk leads to Mater Dei High School in New Jersey.[edit]

Is the path displayed on the picture "a sidewalk leads to Mater Dei High School in New Jersey." really a pavement/sidewalk? I fail to see the road.~~MaxGrin (talk) 10:38, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, simply "path" would possibly more correct, or "footpath" or "walkway". Speaking from an Ozzie English point of view.
1) "Side-walk" certainly implies being on the side of something (a road).
2) A "foot-path" is a path for those on foot.
3) And "walk-way" is a "way" for those walking.
"A walkway is a composite or umbrella term for all formal surfaces which support the act of walking."
ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkway
"Pavement" implies something that is paved (covered), whether with concrete/cement, tar/asphalt, slabs or stone. I am surprised it can be specific to sidewalk/footpath or similar.
Love a language where words have so many different contextual meanings. Eg. A "passage" can mean a piece of written text, or a corridor/hall between two places. --220.101.28.25 (talk) 16:32, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Scope of article[edit]

The definitional at the top of the page says 'This article is about pedestrian paths next to roads'. Is that so? If so then content and images that relate to 'pedestrian paths that are not next to roads' should be removed or rehoused somewhere else.PeterEastern (talk) 04:06, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

I have been working on the article to bring the images and text more in line with the subject.PeterEastern (talk) 18:29, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

What, no mention of sidewalk culture? Not even a link? How sad. http://ultraclay.com/2010/12/vietnam_sidewalk_culture.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.69.221.162 (talk) 06:02, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion. I have now added an initial section on 'social uses' of sidewalks. PeterEastern (talk) 08:19, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Side walk[edit]

Thier needs to be a picture of a typicle suburban side walk set beck from the street by a layer of grass,--J intela (talk) 09:44, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Done. --Triskele Jim (talk) 18:20, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Transport section (Car centered view)[edit]

The transport section seem to be written from the perspective that traveling by car is the norm and every other form of transport is most likely due to lack of ability to drive a car. This does not sound very accurate from an international perspective.

I propose the section be rewritten to say something along the lines of "sidewalks are more common in urban and suburban areas (than in rural areas and between cities) where walking is a good form of transportation due to short distances. Sidewalks are also important in areas where large numbers use public transport, as these often inculde a walking part."

--Kaksoisloikka (talk) 19:31, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

I've just done a first hack at removing the POV which assumes all travel is by car and pavements are just for the poor TiffaF (talk) 15:28, 8 December 2014 (UTC)


    • The article is in American English, it is written that way. Please don't change parts of the article to align to your national spelling. Articles, by policy, are to be in one version of english, unless quoting in context. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.201.191.33 (talk) 16:46, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
This is still the case, please refrain from changing to your preferred variant of english from American English.

Unimproved sidewalk[edit]

Is a strip of grass on the side of the road considered a sidewalk if it is publicly held property? I don't usually use the term to include that, but the definitions used in some US state laws do not seem to require that a "sidewalk" be improved to count as a sidewalk. Should we note this possible distinction in meanings so that people are not misled by parts of the article that exclusively apply to improved sidewalks, nor by limited life experiences? Germyb (talk) 22:52, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Actually, I might be wrong about whether these laws classify such grassy areas as "sidewalks". Some people on the internet think they do, but I'm having trouble finding significant court cases that support this view. Germyb (talk) 04:38, 17 September 2017 (UTC)