Saint Etienne is a small working class city in France.
<map lat='45.43941730897112' lng='4.379768371582031' zoom='12' view='0' float='right' />
Get on the last traffic circle on the "rue de la Montat" before the motorway. There is way enough place for the cars to stop an they are not so fast.
You can come closer by transports, from "chateaucreux" station (tramways T1, T2, then it's 15 min to walk to the spot) or by bus M3 direction terrnoire (stop at "monthieux", cross the road, walk down and cross the shopping mall, it's 5min by walk.)
The best is to hitch North to Givors and try to get dropped on a petrol station/toll on the A7.
Édit 16.07.19 : there is no toll before the jonction of A7, if your car does not go south, try to take another one. You can also cross "givors" to go to Vienna by D386 and then the highway by the N7. This is a long way but don't wait for a toll before the jonction
north toward Clermont-Ferrand
Echangeur de la Terrasse
Go to train/tram/bus stop "Passerelle" (T1 and 2). From there you can see a pedestrian bridge going over the train tracks. Take it. You'll land right next to the highway, but the wrong side. Turn right and walk until the big crossroad. There you can go under the highway and hitch from the onramp.
There is light at night.
West towards N88 direction le puy en velay
Take the tramway direction solaure, and stop at "solaure". Then walk down a bit, go higher and turn the first left. This is your spot for N88. There is not so much place for cars but it's working anyway, and the drivers can see you from the traffic light if it's red for them.
Get off the tram at "Bellevue" (lines 4 and 5) and walk up the "rue Robespierre" (you'll pass hover the motorway) to get at the Vélocio traffic circle. Hitch where the sign shows "Bourg-Argental, Annonay".
It's working quite well and the road is beautiful. You'll be slower than on the highway but you'll meet more people since they'll take you for short rides
To go to Grenoble, do not go to Annonay but take the road passing it north crossing the motorway around Chanas and keep east across Beaurepaire.