The width of a walkway establishes its purpose and often sets a tone for the visitor. Wide walkways are safe and convenient and are essential for wheelchair-accessibility. Narrow walkways are more intimate in scale.
Primary and Secondary
Builders often use concrete for primary and secondary walkways. Primary walkways are the most frequently used, such as the main entry walk to a house. Walkways are widest for the most prominent locations. Secondary walkways are used less often and are narrower.
Walkways that are 4 1/2 to 5 feet wide are safe and convenient; two people can walk side by side. Secondary paths can narrow to 3 feet. This is suitable for infrequent use such as back yards and utilities.
Accessible walkways should be a minimum 6 feet wide; the preferred width is 6 1/2 feet. This permits wheelchairs to pass and allows for snow storage without blocking the way. Check local regulations for specifications for walkway widths, especially for accessibility issues.
- "Taunton Press Patios and Walkways Idea Book"; Peter Jeswald; 2008
- Queen's University: Accessibility Guidelines;
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images D. Anschutz/Digital Vision/Getty Images