NEW TAMPA — The Road to Nowhere may, in effect, become a Trail to Nowhere.
Hillsborough County is proposing to fence off the north portion of Kinnan Street — a 1-mile boulevard that was completed last year to serve residents of booming new suburbs at the Hillsborough-Pasco line — because it's serving only walkers, illegal dumpers and who-knows-what else.
Pasco County has rejected a connection to Kinnan. And the Hillsborough suburbs on each side of it aren't booming after all.
"Right now, the road serves no purpose," said John Newton, Hillsborough's director of transportation maintenance. "There's no throughway, and there's no homes in there."
So the Public Works Department plans to ask county commissioners next week to approve a fence across Kinnan, just north of Basset Creek Drive. The fence would contain a locked gate to accommodate county mowers and ambulances. It would spare Kinnan's sidewalks, preserving access to walkers and cyclists.
It would go up on Aug. 18, for two years.
That is good news to Tim Coppola, 41, of Cross Creek, one of several Kinnan neighbors who had complained about dumping and drag racing there. He said at least twice, racers have swerved off Kinnan and clobbered the rightfield fence at a Little League park on Basset Creek.
"The kids were racing a lot back there," Coppola said. "They like to squeal doughnuts."
Kinnan was built for $2.2-million by the developers of Live Oak Preserve, the housing development to the west. It was to be a busy corridor connecting Pasco's Meadow Pointe to Hillsborough's Cross Creek. It also was to carry traffic into Live Oak and a younger development to the east, K-Bar Ranch.
But Live Oak's developers, with Hillsborough's blessing, decided to make their roads private. Oak Preserve Boulevard's eastern end has a chained gate.
Pasco officials, meanwhile, grew fearful that hordes of Hillsborough drivers would flood into Meadow Pointe if Kinnan were opened into Mansfield. So Pasco County isn't considering opening that connection until another major artery, State Road 56, is extended east to Mansfield. Finally, the section of K-Bar abutting Kinnan remains in the planning stages. Kinnan is an empty mile with three dead ends.
Its closure is set for the uncontested, no-discussion portion of next week's commission meeting. If it goes through, county mowing crews will clean up the area four to six times a year, Newton said. He hopes the fence will nip the illegal dumping in the bud.
"We're picking up couches now, but it could be barrels of oil and truckloads of tires."
Bill Coats can be reached at (813) 269-5309 or [email protected]