MEADOW POINTE — There was nobody in the sales office when I stopped by to ask about the Wellington townhomes in Meadow Pointe, and nobody answered the phone number on the billboard.
Then again, how easy can it be to sell townhomes, even at the bargain price of "in the 100,000's," when you're sitting on top of the road to nowhere?
We've written about this quirk of New Tampa a number of times. Pasco's Mansfield Boulevard dead-ends a stone's throw south of the cute blond townhomes, blocked by big red barricade signs. You can walk around them, as one jogger did while I was there, and scoot through the grass to a nicely paved road inside Live Oak Preserve, the next subdivision south.
One segment is in Pasco and the other in Hillsborough, and for reasons that defy logic even in Florida, the two counties could never hook them up. Complicating matters, Live Oak purchased, or "privatized," its streets — like people have nothing better to spend their money on when so many of us can ill afford the roofs over our heads.
So even though I can chug a beer can from the Meadow Pointe townhomes to that Live Oak road, I can't drive there unless I go 3 miles to Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, hang a left at the Walgreen's and get invited past the Live Oak entrance gate.
Makes so little sense, it hurts your head.
Big thinkers use the term "connectivity" to talk about something we take for granted where I come from: a menu of options when you're traveling between points A and B.
But we didn't gate our streets either and we survived.
Northern Hillsborough, and
New Tampa in particular, is so illogically designed that the city now wants to relieve Bruce B. Downs by building a $20-million bridge into Tampa Palms, quite possibly the prettiest place in all of Tampa.
Community leaders there fear that Tampa Palms won't be so pretty anymore, and lots of luck to children crossing the streets to school. You have to feel sorry for these homeowners, even though some of their little subdivisions are gated as well, which is a big part of the connectivity problem.
Still, something must be done for the people who drive from one county to another for work and play, undeterred by their governments' inability to so much as lay asphalt over a patch of grass.
We reported recently that Meadow Pointe homes have lost 32 percent of their value in the real estate downturn. Ouch. Homeowners have it bad enough without looking out at barricades. Then again, sellers might brag about how private the place is. Who knows?
Taking that 21/2-mile drive back along County Line, it occurred to me that this would be a beautiful spot to run a bus line, maybe even a trolley.
That will be the day.