The English language is a pretty funny thing. For example, what is the difference between sidewalk and pavement? Is there a real difference between these two terms, or are they the same? Can you walk on pavement or drive a car on a sidewalk? Hopefully, your car stays on the road, but this can get a little confusing. Well, time to parse it out – Sidewalk versus Pavement.
Generally speaking, the sidewalk often refers to a pedestrian walkway. So what is the difference between sidewalk and pavement? A sidewalk does not necessarily need to be paved. In fact, it can be grassy, sandy, lined with stones and pebbles, or just be some long-forgotten trail. Typically, the sidewalk is near structures like homes, stores, and apartment buildings. They are often next to a street and will provide a safe place for pedestrians on foot and on bicycle to travel.
While the term “pavement” can possibly refer to the sidewalk, the pavement really just refers to a paved area. For example, a parking lot, road, or driveway. Typically, the pavement is made of materials like asphalt or concrete, not a grassy area. The pavement is always covered by a material. Depending on the region, “sidewalk” and “pavement” may be interchangeable.
Another key difference between sidewalk and pavement is their overall functionality. Loosely speaking, the sidewalk is meant for pedestrians. They can be on foot, bicycle, stroller, or wheelchair, but they are typically traveling at a much slower speed. This is why the sidewalk is so important. It provides necessary safety for individuals. Sidewalks are also typically narrower paths than pavement.
The pavement can cover a large swath of land, or be an entire road. The pavement is meant for vehicles like cars, motorcycles, and trucks. While pedestrians can walk on the pavement, they will typically choose a sidewalk instead of safety and convenience. And now you know the difference between the pavement and sidewalks.