Holiday season is here, which means the popular Peacock Lane Christmas displays are back. Increasingly, the only thing more impressive than the lights are the traffic backups. This is especially true during the times when Peacock Lane is pedestrian-only (December 15-17 this year).
Without planning ahead, what was supposed to be a fun family tradition could result in an extended stay in barely-moving traffic and (endless?) circling through dark and narrow SE Portland streets looking for parking.
But you’ve got options and some are definitely going to result in a better experience than others. Here’s your travel game plan:
Great for some
If you’re comfortable with riding in the dark (and your visibility game is strong), biking is a great way to sidestep the parking problems and traffic backups.
From the east and west, Salmon and Taylor streets bike lanes will get you there, while the 41st Street bike lane is your north-south route.
Heads up: you’ll have to walk your bike on Peacock Lane.
Your best bet
You have a lot of options that will drop you on the figurative doorstep of Peacock Lane.
From the east or west, Line 15 is a Frequent Service line that runs down Belmont and will drop you off right at Peacock Lane. Six blocks to the south on Hawthorne is the Frequent Service Line 14 and six blocks to the north on Burnside is Line 20.
From the north or south, Line 75 runs down Cesar Chavez, one block from Peacock Lane. Hollywood Transit Center provides a connection to MAX Red, Blue and Green lines and is eight minutes from from Peacock Lane via Line 75.
If you’re coming from farther way, driving to a Park and Ride and then taking MAX + Line 75 the rest of the way is a good bet. By the evening, Park and Ride parking spots are plentiful.
Doable if you don’t mind a long walk
Pick your poison: sit in traffic and fight for parking on those tight streets crowded with pedestrians, or park a ways off and walk 10+ minutes. If it’s especially crowded (and when is it not?), you’re likely to do both.
If you do prefer to drive, you can do a few things to minimize the pain. First, avoid Stark and Belmont for a good 5 blocks in either direction, as well as Cesar Chavez approaching both streets.
Finding a spot within five blocks of Peacock Lane is going to involve a lot of circling and some luck. Parking is usually easier near (or better yet, south of) Hawthorne. The same holds true as you approach Burnside. Going west of Cesar Chavez is also a good idea. Take care crossing over Cesar Chavez; the sidewalks are narrow and the traffic constant.
Oh, and don’t even think about parking at the Walgreens on Belmont. It’s very much a no-go.
Uber / Lyft:
Potentially pricey but better than driving
You won’t avoid the traffic but you will sidestep the parking problems. If you’re able, bypass the stand-still traffic on Stark and Belmont and get dropped off on Burnside or Hawthorne. You’ll have a 5-10 minute walk to Peacock Lane, but you’ll avoid sitting for even longer in traffic (with the meter running).
One more thing: you’re almost certain to run into some major surge pricing when you head home. Try walking a few blocks away to see if you can get out of the surging area.
Have any tips for a painless trip to Peacock Lane? Tweet them to @trimet.