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It took less than five hours for D.C. to see its first traffic fatality of 2020.

On New Year’s Day, at approximately 4:17 a.m., the driver of a silver SUV killed a pedestrian who was on the sidewalk near the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and L’Enfant Square SE, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. The press statement says the SUV “failed to negotiate a turn and left the roadway.” The driver abandoned their car and fled the scene after fatally striking 32-year-old Loleita Patricia Gross. MPD is investigating. 

The traffic fatality means D.C. already failed to meet its Vision Zero goals for 2020. 

The District joined more than a dozen U.S. cities in making a Vision Zero commitment to reach zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries by 2024. But so far, the city has lagged on its goals. D.C. ended 2019 with 27 traffic fatalities—the first year the city did not see an increase to the previous year since making the pledge in 2015. However, 2019’s count surpassed 2015’s. 

A few councilmembers expressed disappointment with Jeff Marootian, director of the District Department of Transportation, about his department’s efforts to make the streets safer for bikers and pedestrians during an October hearing. Every infrastructure project was months away, and government agencies had just convened for the first time in the fall to coordinate Vision Zero goals. 

City Paper reached out to DDOT for comment, but didn’t immediately hear back. We’ll update readers in tomorrow’s newsletter if that changes. Amanda Michelle Gomez(tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • Here’s a list of laws that take effect this year. [WAMU]

  • Chevy Chase school apologizes after black students were asked by peers to portray themselves as enslaved people during a lesson. [Post]

  • D.C. ends the year with $280 million more in revenue than expected. [Twitter]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals(tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • 2020 looks a lot like 2019 for the D.C. government, Jonetta Rose Barras writes. [DC Line]

  • The D.C. Council is back from a brief winter break. Two committees are holding hearings today:

    • On bills regarding vaping. [DC Council]

    • On a repeal of a tax exemption for the Newseum. [DC Council]

  • Hate crime prosecutions are on the rise in D.C. [Post]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes(tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Ogle the six coolest cakes Buttercream Bakeshop sculpted this year. [WCP]

  • The best bars that opened in D.C. in 2019. [Post]

  • Food writers predict the dining headlines of 2020. [Eater]

  • What food writers would like to see more of in 2020. [DCist]

  • How dining in D.C. changed over the past decade. [Washingtonian]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • New indie film Lost Holiday is a love letter to D.C. [DCist]

  • Composer Nolan Williams Jr.’s own family tradition is the inspiration behind a new musical. [Post]

  • Some Washington-related vocab shows up on Merriam-Webster’s 2019 most-searched words list. [WAMU]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)\

  • Don’t be fooled Washington football team fans. With Dan Snyder still around, there won’t be a culture change, writes City Paper contributor Matt Terl. [WCP]

  • The short-handed Wizards started 2020 with a blowout loss to the Magic, 122-101. [AP]

  • After a disastrous 10 years in charge of the local NFL franchise, Bruce Allen may never have a chance to work in the league again. [WCP]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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