Where is Oak Cliff?

This question comes up a lot around here, and I am asking it today especially because of the Dallas police raid Wednesday on a crime-infested apartment complex, the Village Oaks. The DMN put “Oak Cliff” in the headline. And when I read it, I said to my laptop screen, “Dude, that’s not Oak Cliff.”

But when I looked at it on the map, I realized it’s just west of Interstate 45. So if you’re counting Oak Cliff as anything between I-45 and Cockrell Hill Road, then the Snooze is right.

I must admit, however, that I really never go anywhere east of Marsalis. So my Oak Cliff runs from Marsalis to Cockrell Hill, which roughly is the bounds of what we cover in the Oak Cliff Advocate.

It would make sense to call anything in the wedge between interstates 30 and 45 Oak Cliff, but nowadays, we claim parts of West Dallas too. The Belmont Hotel and Jack’s Backyard, for example, technically are in West Dallas and not Oak Cliff.

And then the other question: Where is the southern boundary? The Advocate coverage area only stretches to about Ledbetter, but I certainly consider anything east of 67 and north of Duncanville as part of Oak Cliff. That includes Red Bird, which has its own identity, but it’s still Oak Cliff, no?


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  • SWOakCliff

    Oak Cliff is the River to Loop 12, I-30 to maybe Duncanville
    or DeSoto

  • I’ve had this discussion a number of times. I think it’s really frustrating for all of us in North Oak Cliff to be lumped into the high crime areas between 35 and 45. However, I’ll pass on what I’ve been told, which isn’t what we would like to hear:

    The eastern boundary of Oak Cliff is the Trinity River, which is east of I-45 for the most part. In fact, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson once corrected someone who was referring to a location in southeast Oak Cliff as South Dallas. She stated that they were not the same, and that Oak Cliff extended to the Trinity (it is in her Congressional district). You could call it Southern Dallas, but not South Dallas, which is the area around Fair Park and on the other side of the Trinity.

    In case this is confusing, it helps to remember that Oak Cliff was not always part of Dallas. It was its own community until we were annexed. South Dallas was the area south of downtown Dallas on the other side of the Trinity from Oak Cliff. It was fairly affluent, home to most of the city’s Jewish population at one time.

    Many Cliffdwellers may not realize that when I-35 went in, it divided Oak Cliff. All of east (and southeast) Oak Cliff is on the other side of 35. For example, South Oak Cliff High School is on the east side.

    I’d love to say Oak Cliff was 30 to 35, from the Trinity to Cockrell Hill. Unfortunately, I think we’re stuck with that huge other chunk of Oak Cliff that most of us in NOC don’t explore, not just you Rachel. It’s still an interesting discussion. I hope someone proves me wrong.

  • Dave

    This is a major sticking point for me. I too read the same article yesterday, and immediately sent a note to the journalist. He responded very quickly, but it sounded as if he too considered everything west of I-45 Oak Cliff.

    We have lived here for years with not a single issue, but the majority of Dallas still believes the area is rampant with crime. How can we change the perception? First, we need defined boundaries. Second, STOP RUNNING MISLEADING ARTICLES ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NEWSPAPER!

  • Oak Cliff is the area within the boundaries of I-30 to the north, I-35 to the east, Westmoreland to the west, and Illinois to the south. Anything else is just people (media) being lazy.

  • Jake

    If you consider Oak Cliff is anything to the west of the Trinity to Loop 12 and south of 30 to Desoto/Duncanville then that is too large an area to be painted witht the same brush. That’s about 400,000 people or to put it another way, by population Oak Cliff is larger than St. Louis, Pittsburg, or Cincinnati.