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Central Standard

State Line Living From Volker’s View In Kansas City, Missouri

Alyson Raletz

Living near State Line Road in the Volker neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., means getting used to worn-out sneakers, lots of local cuisine and “old hippies.”

That’s according to Volker fans who attended a recent community forum that KCUR hosted to get a glimpse at state line living from real Kansas Citians — part of our Beyond Our Borders project taking a look at state line through the end of the year.

In September, we visited the Rosedale neighborhood in Kansas City, Kan., so we wanted to hear from the other side of the state line in Volker.  

Volker is located in Midtown’s west side, along both sides of 39th Street near Westport and the Country Club Plaza. The neighborhood’s walkability, diversity of neighbors and plethora of restaurants were just some of the themes that cropped up during the listening session, which was held on Oct. 9.

“It’s an incubator for small businesses,” said Jim Peters, a Volker resident and board member of the Volker Neighborhood Association.

Peters shared some of the feedback from Volker residents Oct. 16 during an interview with Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann.

“I think one reason we have a lot of the restaurants and bars on our side is because of the liquor laws,” Peters said of regulations in Missouri. “(On the other side of the state line in Kansas) they get the fast-food restaurants. It’s all right. They can have them.”

He and other Volker residents also credited a lot of Volker’s business development to foot traffic that comes from the University of Kansas Medical Center, located on the neighborhood’s border, just on the other side of State Line Road in Kansas.

“We don’t relate that much to Rosedale, which is next to us and I think KU is kind of like a barrier,” Peters said.

The neighborhood also attracts a lot of people who don’t live in Volker.

Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR
Nicole Brestogianis

For instance, Nicole Brestogianis, attended the forum even though she lives deeper in Missouri in Kansas City’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Brestogianis told Kaufmann that she spent a lot of time in Volker because she enjoyed its amenities and the ability to meet new people.

Asked why she didn’t live there, Brestogianis said, “I would love to. It’s not that I don’t want to. Being single and you know, living on a budget, sometimes keeps you from doing that, so, you have to live someplace where it’s maybe a little more affordable.”

To hear more about Volker from Peters and Brestogianis, listen to the full interview above.

This look at the Missouri-Kansas state line is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders  and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.

We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them. Be a source for Beyond Our Borders: Share your perspective and experiences on the state line with KCUR