Take a look at this photo:

Valid XHTML http://img1.cfcdn.com/public/property-listing-images/full_size/51b80d4a3765e.gif.

My question is what is the correct word to describe these roads (inside a residential colony) that lead to individual apartments, unlike the public roads? This is an image of the inside of a residential colony.

2 Answers 2


A 'road' would usually refer exclusively to that which is driven on by motor vehicles.

What you've pictured is a 'path' which is defined as (in one of its senses):

A trail for the use of, or worn by, pedestrians.

I don't believe there's a distinction in terms used between paths which are open to the public and those which are on private land.

  • 8
    See also: footpath, pavement, sidewalk, walkway, pedway. Aug 22, 2013 at 18:57
  • 3
    @WendiKidd, to me OP's picture doesn't show a sidewalk because it's not alongside a road.
    – The Photon
    Aug 22, 2013 at 23:48
  • 1
    Sidewalk seems okay to me; after all, that walkway is alongside something. It might be worth noting this definition of sidewalk: walk consisting of a paved area for pedestrians; usually beside a street or roadway. Incidentally, if that walkway was beside a canal or other body of water, it could be called a riverwalk.
    – J.R.
    Aug 23, 2013 at 9:28
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    Note that "sidewalk" is an American English term; in British English it would be "pavement" - though as with the American equivalent, it would normally imply a path alongside a road. Aug 23, 2013 at 9:32
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    Just to give a British English perspective: A 'pavement' is exclusively alongside a road. 'sidewalk' wouldn't be used, as it's an Am. English word, but it would be understood to mean the same. 'walkway' would usually refer to a passage between two buildings or certain types of bridge. 'pedway' wouldn't be used in Br. English. 'footpath' is the only one that would be considered potentially correct in this case. It would be most often used for a path in the countryside or a park, but is versatile. I wouldn't say it's quite the right word here, but I'm finding myself unable to explain why. Aug 23, 2013 at 10:30

The obvious word for that would be path. See this dictionary definition.

  • 1
    I normally think of paths as being unpaved (although I readily acknowledge that paths can be paved). It's just I wouldn't call path the "obvious" word; I might opt for walkway.
    – J.R.
    Aug 23, 2013 at 9:23
  • J.R. that's probably due to personal preference or if someone is used to see seeing more paved or unpaved examples, in a particular part of the world.
    – Tristan
    Aug 25, 2013 at 11:26
  • True! It depends on context, too. For example, if I was told, "To get to work every day, I ride my bike on the path," I would assume it's a paved path, probably one similar to the O.P.'s picture. Incidentally, I had never thought much about the versatility of the word path until contending with this question. There are footpaths, garden paths, metaphorical paths, paved paths, wooded paths, ski paths, covered paths, paths for golf carts and paths for bicycles – and dozens more. I doubt there's one word that can, by itself, invoke a picture exactly like the O.P.'s, not every time to everyone.
    – J.R.
    Aug 25, 2013 at 11:40

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