Gorham Town Councilor Lou Simms, pictured in the council chambers, rode his bicycle to the board’s meeting Tuesday where he sponsored a proclamation declaring May as Bike Month in town. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The Gorham Town Council is peddling the virtues of bicycling and Tuesday unanimously proclaimed May as Bike Month in the town. The town is recognizing May 13-19 as “Bike to Work Week” and Friday, May 17, as Bike to Work Day.

Town Councilor Lou Simms sponsored the proclamation and pedaled his bicycle to the council meeting at the municipal center. Simms said stepped up bicycling would enhance economic development as businesses would become more accessible for customers in the town long known for its traffic woes and parking shortage in the village.

“You can put 10 bikes in a parking spot for one car,” Simms said.

But it solves one problem while creating another, Town Councilor Phil Gagnon said, if people park cars in Gorham Village and ride their bikes to other locations.

The board, in a separate discussion, also unanimously supported adding safety measures to protect riders. “We have to prioritize safety on our streets,” Simms told councilors.

A bicycle sharing lane, or “sharrow,” painted in Portland. Gorham plans to add features like this to improve cyclers’ safety in town. File photo / Portland Press Herald

Safety measures will include installation of pavement marking “sharrows” on travel lanes bicyclists would share with cars. Bike racks will also be placed on public property in Gorham Village to augment the one now at Metro’s Husky bus stop on Main Street.


The town could collaborate with business owners in the village to place bike racks where space exists on private property.

Town Councilor Seven Siegel said every bicyclist helps save the town money on road repair.

The proclamation encouraged residents to use bicycles year round for transportation, recreation with group and trail rides, and commuting to work. The town hopes to attract more bicyclists to visit its parks, trails system, restaurants and retail outlets. “Bicycling has been shown to attract tourism dollars and increase spending at local businesses,” the proclamation says.

The proclamation also says bicycling improves “health, well-being and quality of life, while mitigating car pollution and traffic congestion.”

Simms said before the meeting, “We welcome all Gorham residents and visitors to be your own power and enjoy a ride this month.”

Simms said volunteers from the bicycling community will staff information stations along the Crosstown Trail during the upcoming week to help raise awareness of safety. For those interested in volunteering or to get more information, contact Simms at csimms@gorham.me.us.

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