Your random unattributed internet reference is incorrect. Even where some cities incorrectly try to call possessing a right-of-way "owning" the sidewalk to people, in a legal sense, the property still belongs to the property owner. If you look at the actual recorded deeds and maps in the recorders office, it's very easy to see the distinction. Some cities explain the distinction between owning the property and owning a right-of-way to a portion of the property very well, others fairly well, and some cities not so well, indicating whoever wrote their stuff doesn't actually understand it. For example, Champaign's web site talks about "owning" the right-of-way "property", then a couple of paragraphs later about the responsibilities of the "property owner" in that right-of-way, not meaning them. :)
The closer you get to an actual legal authority and real city or county recorders who deal with property descriptions, plat maps, easements and right-of-ways, the more you find people who actually understand the difference between the owner of the property and what a public right-of-way legally is. What it isn't is ownership of the property itself, it's the right to use the property for a specific purpose. So under various circumstances the property owner can recover the right-of-way from a city, profit from mining oil or minerals underneath it, etc... Pretty standard for a city street, the center of the right-of-way is the actual property line between property owners (they each own half the road) and the right-of-way extends 30 ft. in either direction.
If you ask a random city employee, you may be told the city "owns" the sidewalk, but if you ask a non-profit which exists to give cities and counties legal advice, you're likely to get a much more accurate answer, including legal citations. Let's not even talk about clickbait web sites who exist to get searchers to land on random "articles" like reference.com.
So yes, "It's better to check when you don't know what you're talking about." Wish more city website writers would check a little more thoroughly, but then, that's what lawyers are for, right? To be legally pedantic. ;)