Kansas City Warnings and Dangers
Like other metropolitan cities throughout the United States, Kansas City is not without its shortcomings. Locals who know the city inside out boast of its tremendous growth, diversity, and burgeoning cultural district. Countering its bright side, though, are areas notorious for their high crime rates and decrepit environments.
Avoiding Prospect, Troost, and Johnson County
If steering clear of major Kansas City warnings and dangers is the key, then it’s probably smartest to stay away from Prospect Avenue and Troost Avenue. Troost in particular suffered tremendously during the 1950s, when it transformed from a thriving district to an emblem of the neighborhood’s prolific crime landscape. Racial tensions are particularly high on both of these streets, and there’s a strong incidence of drug-related crimes and muggings in the area.
One of the key most people offer is to be aware. Avoid keeping your head down, but don’t make eye contact with those straddling the walls and loitering around the area, either. Some suggest that ignorance is bliss—a “let’s leave each other alone” attitude pervades in these more sinister areas, and it’s a smart one for safety’s sake alone. Locals also suggest that there’s safety in numbers, particularly when venturing outside after dark.
Whether as a driver or a pedestrian, it’s also wise to avoid Johnson County, about half an hour’s drive from the city. Experienced locals warn of lackadaisical drivers who routinely go over the speed limit, neglect to use turn signals, and treat even small, residential roads with the same vigor as a major highway.
On the Safer Side
Westport is a historic neighborhood that serves as one of the main entertainment hubs in Kansas City. It’s a thriving district with restaurant and shops aplenty, and locals rave about its beauty and relaxing, pedestrian-friendly environment. Some locals suggest parking in the busiest parts of the plaza, or risk being accosted by street crawlers seeking money. Even then, the majority of incidents reportedly occur after sundown, when the shopping center has closed for the day.
For those who happen to be in the Troost district, moving west should help the cause and provide a safer environment—it’s the easterly areas that seem to suffer the most crime. Venturing into midtown Kansas City from this area offers some comfort, as the downtown district is quite lively. There, visitors will experience the best a major city can offer: plentiful restaurants and bars, eclectic shopping options, and a vibrant arts district that nicely balances the darker side of the city. The surrounding suburbs are largely peaceful, residential districts that thrive on family-friendly activities and lush parklands.
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Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Kansas City.
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