At the Standish Town Council workshop meeting on Tuesday,

Town Manager Gordon Billington presented aerial maps marked with the town’s range ways (or range roads), which originated in the 1700’s.

Council members are considering the use of these roads to handle projected expansion in the community. They are also looking ahead to Gorham’s plans for a bypass and how that will affect traffic in Standish. Currently, their efforts are focused on the area around the village center.

The range ways, which vary in widths from 66 feet to 132 feet, were laid out on a grid running north to south and east to west. Dating back to the mid-eighteenth century, these roads were designed to divide land into 30-acre subdivisions and to provide a connection to the road system so that no parcel would be landlocked.

The Town Council formed the Standish Roadway Planning Committee two years ago to investigate the range ways and determine how the town will officially take control of them.

According to Billington, with the results in from the survey that “walked the ground pursuing evidence that the range ways existed,” the town needs to notify residents whose property abuts these roads and hold a public informational meeting. This meeting will be scheduled for sometime this summer.

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