The discussion for using old range roads as a way to bypass Route 25 traffic will continue at a Standish Town Council workshop on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

For the past few years the town of Standish has been investigating the use of old range roads to assist the town in growth management.

The purpose of the workshop is to produce a roadway plan for the town of Standish which would include the location of future rights-of-way in order to address traffic demands during the next 15 years.

The council will also review an order to form a new committee consisting of three councilors, and four or more members of the public. This committee will have approximately six months to approve of both the Comprehensive Plan and the Route 25 Access Management and Intersection Analysis report.

The designing of the roadway will be conducted in coordination with the other ongoing initiatives in Standish including: the Standish Village Design, land-use ordinances, the mapping of historic sights, the development of the sidewalk and pedestrian walkway plan, and the conservation mapping project.

Standish range roads date back to the early 1750s when a 22,460-acre parcel of land was deeded by the Queen of England to Captain Moses Pearson and Humphrey Hobbs. The land, designated as Pearsontown, was then split into 30-acre bundles.

In an effort to avoid these bundles from being landlocked, every parcel was intersected with roadways now known as range roads. Range roads ensured that future growth would not affect access of the landowners to their land.

Maps dating back to the mid-1700s show these range roads in great detail. They were constructed around town in a grid-like fashion.

Today the name Standish replaces Pearsontown on the map and most of the range roads have been replaced by overgrowth, fields and swamp land. Range roads (originally set at eight rods wide or 132 feet) which once were the main arteries of Pearsontown still exist. They are commonly known as routes 25 and 35.

Oak Hill Road, also an original range road, is just one of the modern streets that council members are looking at in an effort to utilize connecting range roads. The roads, if developed, would create secondary roads in an effort to bypass the heavy traffic that already congests route 25.

The workshop will coincide with the Tuesday night Town Council meeting. Although the public will not be asked to participate, they are invited to attend.

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