New York State
New York State is a Northeastern State in the United States. Hitchhiking is generally easy and pleasant. In winter, make sure to dress warm and have alternate transportation plans if you get too cold.
§1157. Pedestrians soliciting rides, or business.
(a) No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, or to solicit from or sell to an occupant of any vehicle.
(c) No person shall occupy any part of a state highway, except in a city or village, in any manner for the purpose of selling or soliciting.
§ 140. Roadway. That portion of a highway improved, designed, marked, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder and slope. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways the term "roadway" as used herein shall refer to any such roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.
NOTE subsection (c): hitchhiking is a form of solicitation. While the police generally don't mind hitchhikers, it may be interpreted that hitchhiking is illegal even while on the shoulder when you are outside the limits of a "city or village."
102.4 Hitchhiking; loitering. The solicitation of a ride, commonly known as hitchhiking, or stopping any vehicle for the purpose of picking up or discharging a hitchhiker, on any portion of the Thruway system, including toll plazas, is prohibited. Loitering in or about the toll plazas or any other portion of the Thruway system, for the purpose of hitchhiking or for any other purpose, is prohibited.
Be aware that in border towns with Canada, such as Niagara Falls and Buffalo, there is much more paranoia about hitchhiking, and police will often approach and possibly harass you, claiming that it is illegal to hitchhike.
Note:All land owned by the National Park service prohibits hitchhiking under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 section 4.31: Hitchhiking or soliciting transportation is prohibited except in designated areas and under conditions established by the superintendent.
- Gateway National Recreation Area
4.31 has not been amended here, so hitchhiking is prohibited.
The Thruway is a toll road running across the state. Although many cars have electronic toll cards (EZPass), its still possible to get picked up at the toll booths, although this is illegal (see above).
Local hitchhiking along busy roads works well. For longer distances, most of the busy roads in town turn into highways in the country and will get you slowly towards your destination. For fast but less scenic trips, take the interstate:
- To go east: stand on the 490 on-ramp on Monroe Ave.
The "Champlain-Lacolle" Border on I-87 (This route is known in New York as "The Northway")
Try to get a ride on the Canadian side. Forget about hitching on the other side of the border, like you would do in civilized countries. Once you're taken by American customs personnel you can't walk back. They will be very confused and your best bet is that someone tells you to walk to the truck stop at Exit 43. There are also some gas stations at Exit 42, which is not far. It's not unheard of for a U.S. Border Patrol agent to drive you to the ramp off Exit 42 which is a dynamite place to hitch south.
Saying that, since Champlain-Lacolle crossing is such a bastard, most locals avoid it. You can too by using the more civilized alternative at Overton Corners (about 2 miles east).
To get there, follow Exit 42 to US-11 and head east about 2 miles. Past the shopping centers, there's a small green sign that says "Lacolle 7". This is NYS Route 276. It's then another mile north to the border which links to Quebec Route 221. Guards (on both sides of this border) are much more chill than at Champlain-Lacolle.
New York State sports several long-distance canals which were major thoroughfares for barge traffic in the early 20th century. Today, the New York State Canal System is still maintained, though mainly now for pleasure cruising rather than commerce. There are unconfirmed rumors of folks "hitchhiking" on canal boats.
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