LGBTQIA+ friendly 39th St. District suffers damages from reckless driver

Many signs and trees were torn down in the 39th St. District from a reckless driver on February 6. Photo provided.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, February 7, 2024: On the evening of February 6, 2024, a reckless driving incident occurred at the intersection of 39th and Penn in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

A truck lost control, careening through two medians and crossing the street before crashing into a grassy knoll fence. The driver fled the scene on foot, abandoning the vehicle.

The truck's path of destruction included tearing down two medians, a fence, and multiple light poles. Additionally, approximately 7-8 trees were uprooted, and significant damage was inflicted on the sprinkler system in the area. A street light and pole and approximately 10-15 feet of chain-link fence were carried approximately 50 feet from their original positions.

Several witnesses observed the incident, including Jennifer from Penn Auto, the El Taco Loco Food Truck, and Austin from Pride Cannabis, who captured the event on video.

This incident is particularly distressing for the 39th Street District, an LGBTQIA+ neighborhood that underwent a multi-million dollar streetscape beautification project in recent years. The destruction caused significant damage to the infrastructure and landscaping that were part of this beautification effort.

Damage was done on the 39th St. Strip Feb. 6, 2024.

Authorities were notified, and the police were called to the scene. However, further details regarding the follow-up investigation are currently unavailable.

The 39th Street District is committed to repairing the damage caused by this incident. We are actively working to identify the driver involved in hopes that they have insurance and can cover the cost of repairs. As our community grows, we remain dedicated to ensuring that our district shines brightly for all who visit.

Despite this setback, we are pleased to announce that the Route 66 Pride Vendor Market will proceed on February 17 from noon to 6 p.m. We invite everyone to join us for a day of celebration and support.

The 39th Street District Association was formed in September 2013 to establish a collective voice for the 39th Street District. The district boundaries are NW 39th to NW 40th and Penn Ave to Youngs Blvd. Approximately 45 unique businesses and property owners are in the area served by the Association.

The purpose of the Association is to develop goals and implement programs for better community and commerce in the district. The Association promotes economic development, engages surrounding neighborhoods and volunteers, and leads the efforts to transform the 39th Street District into a diverse, pedestrian-friendly, welcoming and cultural area that attracts a broad cross-section of Oklahoma City's population.

The 39th Street District is a safe, diverse, gay-friendly, stable, pedestrian- and family-friendly destination, attractive to new and existing businesses. The district capitalizes on its Route 66 heritage, attracts a broad range of people, and is busy at all hours of the day and evenings. A diverse set of businesses, including retail and dining, serves families from nearby neighborhoods, young singles living near the northwest, and growing downtown areas and older individuals.

The safety and well-being of our community are of utmost importance. We urge anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward and assist in the investigation. Together, we can ensure that the "39th Street District" remains a vibrant and resilient community.

The Gayly via 39th St. District 02/07/2024 @ 5:22 p.m. CST.