Generations Bridged

by Steven Doyle

For those who grew up in North Dallas, Forest Lane was a hot bed of activity for teenagers looking to cruise old school. A few months ago there was a reunion of about 20,000 alumni and revelers marking a milestone in the lives that exists only in the legends of our minds.

But before we were set to four wheels, there are some that recall the two-wheeled drag strip called the Joe Ratcliff Pedestrian Walkway that tethered Dallas to Farmers Branch, officially to allow easy access to the elementary school on the Farmers Branch side called William L. Cabell. 

As a student of Cabell I truly never thought I would have an occasion to mention the school in my adult life, but this week brought the foot bridge to light. Today the bridge officially closed for business as part of the reconstruction of LBJ Freeway that is underway. The bridge will be rebuilt and back in operation by year’s end, allowing a new generation of students to fly at break-neck speeds down the cement path.

Last Saturday evening many gathered to pay their respects to the bridge that offered refuge and safe passage for generations. Yes refuge. There were tales of dodging the steely grips of the police using the bridge as a teenage escape route. In more endearing tones, some spoke of their first kiss on the bridge.

More stories were traded Saturday as a crowd of over 100 people gathered. There were a few PBR’s opened as reminiscent pedestrians made their last walk across the old bridge that united us one last time.

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