Sidewalk | Walkway Layouts
Pedestrian pathways, walkways, sidewalks, or footpaths, are dedicated infrastructural paths for the movement of people through cities. Including a range of path types from paved sidewalks to dirt trails, pedestrian pathways are safe and essential transportation systems necessary within the planning of suburban and urban areas. Pedestrian paths are designed with flexible widths based on the expected amount of traffic and the incorporation of street fixtures such as bus stops, benches, street lighting, and other essential service fixtures. Sidewalks throughout history often double as flexible social spaces capable of hosting sidewalk cafes, markets, short term parking and low-traffic cycling and bike storage.
Sidewalks are key passageways for people, business, and goods. Safety, accessibility, and maintenance are primary factors to be considered when designing a sidewalk. There are standards sidewalk design should abide by, such as: accessible widths (minimums) of lanes, implementation of buffers, gentle sloping, etc.
A rule of thumb is that the smaller the gravel, the softer it is underfoot. Gravel with a diameter range of ¼ to ⅜ inches (.635 to .95 cm) is optimal for achieving a comfortable walkway. The ¼ inch-sized gravel is often called pea pebbles or pea stones.
The minimum width for a walkway is 48 inches (121.9 cm), which allows for two pedestrians to walk side by side comfortably. It is recommended, however, to increase the width if possible in high use public areas to at least 72 inches (182.88 cm).