Kansas City

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Kansas City is a city at the border of Kansas and Missouri spreading on both side of the State line. The current area population is around two million people. As with any city this size, it can be tricky to navigate. Travelling within the city can be especially difficult due to Kansas City's lack of reliable public transportation, and the attitude of the locals with regards to picking people up. If you stick to the advice in this article, you shouldn't have any trouble catching a long distance ride out of town once you get to a good ramp.

Hitchhiking out

Where to hitchhike in Kansas City: The purple shaded section is illegal to hitchhike in. Each colored circle corresponds to the best ramp to hitchhike from to go in a given direction.
North: Red
North/East: Orange
East: Yellow
South: Green
South/West: Blue
West: Brown

North towards Omaha

The best ramp to hitch to get to Omaha is probably the intersection of Barry Road and Interstate 29. This is a very busy ramp and has a lot of services promoting long distance traffic such as fast food, gas stations, and hotels.

Missouri Hwy 92 and Interstate 29 just north of where I435 and I29 meet up would also be a good place.

Another option to try might be hitching from the ramp coming out of KCI airport, a lot of the northbound traffic is likely going to St. Joseph.

North/East towards Des Moines

The intersection of I-35 and Missouri 152 in Liberty, MO is an ideal place to get a long distance ride this way.

Additionally, exit 25 in Kearney on I-35 can be helpful for heading north. The Shoulder is extremely wide on the northbound on-ramp and most motorists pulling off from the south heading north to re-fuel have ample time to see you. Hitchhiking here from practically anywhere on the I-35 corridor in the KC metro area is extremely easy.

Any of the stoplights along Missouri Hwy 291 in Independence are good places to get a ride north as well since all northbound traffic coming from Lees Summit, Blue Springs, and Independence will be driving through here.

East towards St. Louis

The ramp to I-70 from Missouri Highway 7 in Blue Springs, MO on the outskirts of the metro area is an awesome place to catch a ride to St. Louis and all points east.

South towards Joplin

The intersection of Missouri Hwy 58 and I-49 (AKA US 71) in between Belton and Raymore is a great place to catch a long distance ride. Many people heading south will stop for gas/food and get back on at this ramp. If you catch a short distance ride several miles south to Peculiar, there is a truck stop there too.

Avoid going south on US Hwy 69. Jason got a ride from Lawrence to KC to hitch south on the US 69. Cops pulled over within 10 minutes, told him that hitchhiking is illegal in the United States of America. Whaa, after 5 weeks hitchhiking the States, now they tell him? Hit the onramp again after they left, they returned, threatened with arrest. Taken to the state line and dumped on a countryside closed road, 5 miles away from anything. Sweet! Thank you, Kansas City! Thus the US 71 (I-49) south is probably most advisable if you're heading south.

South/West towards Witchita and Emporia

The best spot in the metro area to get a ride to Witchita is the intersection of Interstate 35 and 151st street. This is a stopping point for some long distance traffic since there are many hotels, a few gas stations, and even a small Shell truck stop (the only truck stop around) near this ramp. Southbound traffic traveling down Kansas Hwy 7 (K7) will also be entering I 35 from this ramp.

NOTE Please be aware that it is illegal to hitchhike here as you will be in Olathe city limits. The police may stop you if you are here too long.

West towards Topeka and Lawrence

The ramp to I-70 from K-7 highway in Bonner Springs, KS is a good place to catch a ride to Topeka and points West including Lawrence. The on ramp to 70 here is very long and abnormal and the majority of the ramp is turnpike property. Make sure you are standing right off the side of K-7 and don't go walking more than a couple feet onto the "ramp" or the cops will get on your case. Just stand before the giant metal cross-brace sign that goes over the road where you turn off of K-7 to get to 70. In Bonner Springs hitchhiking is completely legal, although the turnpike authority will try to tell you otherwise. Note that they can't do anything if you aren't on turnpike property.

Hitching to Lawrence may be easier from K-10, but you will have to be out of any city limits or risk being arrested as it is illegal in any city limits outside of Wyandotte county. From downtown you can ask bus drivers how to get to Johnson county community college. From there you can get a bus to the college in Lawrence (K-10 connector). Keep in mind this is going take a while for waiting and stuff. They don't make it very easy but it will cost no more than about 6 bucks all together.


Kansas Side

Johnson County

This excerpt is from the Standard Traffic Ordinances of Kansas Cities book which all cities in Johnson County (suburbs of Kansas City--including but not limited to Overland Park, Lenexa, Shawnee, Mission, Merriam and Olathe) have adopted:

Sec. 69. Pedestrians Soliciting Rides or Business.

(a) No person shall stand upon or along a street or highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride.

Note the wording of this (upon or along highway); hitchhiking is illegal here.

Wyandotte County

Cities in Wyandotte county (central/northwest Kansas City) are legal to hitchhike in. Wyandotte County has a unified government code which states:

Sec. 35-404. - Pedestrians soliciting rides or business.

(a)No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride.

This is typical code meaning you are within your rights to solicit a ride from the shoulder or berm of a road.

Missouri Side

On the Missouri side of the city, the cops have better things to do than mess with you for hitchhiking. It is legal here. The Kansas City, MO code states:

Sec. 70-787. - Pedestrians soliciting rides or business.

(a)No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride.

Sec. 70-1. - Definitions

Roadway means that portion of a street or highway improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk, berm or shoulder, even though such sidewalk, berm or shoulder is used by persons riding bicycles or other human-powered vehicles. trash:Kansas City