“The sidewalk is simply a part of the street Avhich the town authorities have set apart for the use of pedestrians. 27 A. & E. Enc. (2 ed.), 103; *108 Ottawa v. Spencer, 40 Ill., 217; Chicago v. O'Brien, 53 Am. Rep., 640. Tlie abutting proprietor has no more right in the sidewalk than in the roadway. His rights are simply that the street (including roadway and sidewalk) shall not be closed or obstructed so as to impair ingress or egress to his lot by himself and those whom he invites there for trade or other purposes. Moose v. Carson, 104 N. C., 431; White v. R. R., 113 N. C., 610. As said in S. v. Higgs, 126 N. C., 1014: ‘An abutting owner to a street and sidewalk has an easement in his frontage which he may use in subordination to the superior rights of the public.’ Sidewalks are of modern origin. Anciently they were unknown, as they still are in eastern countries and in perhaps a majority of the towns and villages of Europe. In the absence of a statute, a town is not required to construct a sidewalk. Attorney-General v. Boston, 142 Mass., 200. It is for the town to prescribe the width of the sidewalk. In the absence of statutory restriction it may widen, narrow, or even remove a sidewalk already established. Attorney-General v. Boston, supra. To widen a sidewalk narrows the roadway. To widen the roadway narrows the sidewalk. The proportion of the street to be preserved for pedestrians and vehicles respectively is in the sound discretion of the town authorities.”
Neither the industry of counsel nor our own investigation has discovered a case in this jurisdiction which may be said to cover the exact question here presented, but the tendency of the decisions is to regard the matter as resting in the sound discretion of the governing authorities. And so the statutes, dealing with the subject, have been framed upon the same theory. C. S., 2675, 2703, and 2787.
Contrary decisions may be found in other jurisdictions, but with us the principle has been followed with insistence. Crotts v. Winston-Salem, 170 N. C., 24, 86 S. E., 792; Meares v. Wilmington, 31 N. C., 73. The judgment of nonsuit is accordant with this policy, and will be upheld.