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Excitement grows for Travis Pastrana’s Annapolis stunt jump over Ego Alley as construction crew put finishing touches on ramps

It’s called Ego Alley, so of course, someone is trying to jump over it.

Interested spectators strolled around City Dock Wednesday morning, snapping photos and sharing the latest gossip about when action sports star Travis Pastrana is expected to jump a stunt car over Ego Alley the following day.

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As construction crews put the finishing touches on the ramp placed at the end of Newman Street, onlookers marveled at the spectacle expected to take place sometime Thursday. Pastrana, an Annapolis native, and San Diego-based film company Hoonigan Industries have acquired an event permit for filming that lasts from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and features additional stunts around Church Circle later in the day.

Annapolis resident Jaci McDonald stopped by with her husband Sean McDonald, to look at the ramp. The couple said they hope to catch a glimpse of the jump if it’s not too early.

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The stunt comes at an ideal time as the summer season ends, bringing “some life back to downtown at a critical period,” Sean McDonald said. And it partially fills a hole left after the city canceled the Annapolis Fall Boat Shows due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All Pastrana needed to make the stunt a true Maryland spectacle is to eat a crabcake sandwich while he made the jump, he said, joking, “Instead of a boat show, it’s a showboat.”

“I’ve been paying attention to it all month, reading all articles in The Capital. I’ve been very excited about it,” Jaci McDonald said. “I don’t think I’ll set my alarm, but I might try to come.”

To have Pastrana choose his hometown to film a major stunt is a symbolic gesture many in the city will appreciate, said Annapolis resident Jack Gardiner, who walked along the bulkhead near 101 Compromise Street to view the landing ramp. That ramp stretches from the water’s edge into the parking lot of the Latitude 38 seafood restaurant.

“He’s a creative guy, a really positive guy, and I think he tries to bring a lot of great attention to the sport and tries to get kids involved. I think we all could use some positivity in these times,” Gardiner said. “He’s got a passion for the town, and it’s hard not to; it’s a wonderful city. It’s easy to appreciate a guy who has worked so hard to achieve what he has."

The stunt comes with planned road closures and downtown parking restrictions. The area around City Dock, Newman Street, Compromise Street and Dock Street will be closed from 6:30 to 10 a.m. School Street, Church Circle and West Street will be closed from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Taylor Avenue and Poplar Avenue behind the Graduate Hotel will also be closed.

Residential parking in affected areas of downtown will not be available. For those residents, free passes for Hillman and Gotts' Court garages are available through the city’s parking operator SP+. Passes can be picked up at the parking office at 60 West St. between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Proof of residency is required.

Seemingly everyone who stopped by to see the ramp had a connection to Pastrana or his family, who have operated a construction company in Annapolis for decades.

Gerard Ferri, an Annapolis resident and founder of Safe and Secure TV Channel, said he grew up with Travis Pastrana’s father Robert Pastrana, and knew Travis since he was an elementary school student riding his bike down his front steps.

Ferri was one of the first business owners to sponsor the younger Pastrana early in his career, he said. On Thursday, Ferri said he would try to get downtown to watch the stunt.

"He was a prodigy in the sport,” Ferri said. “He’s the Mickey Mantle of motocross.”

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