Business owners react to NOTO policy changes

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Big changes are coming to the NOTO Arts and Entertainment District in Topeka.

The Topeka City council recently approving two policies that businesses hope will lead to improvements.

The first policy, recognizes NOTO as a business improvement district. Starting next year, fees will begin going to businesses within the area that will go directly into improvements for NOTO.

“We have been in favor of the business development district since we started talking about that,” Co-owner of Compass Point in NOTO Denise Selbee-koch said. “We think it helps our business and our neighboring businesses, it helps the city of Topeka by developing quality, safe, and clean and orderly business areas.” 

The second policy, a bicycle ordinance, will ban bikes – skateboards – scooters – and other forms of wheeled transportation from parts of the NOTO area, keeping them off sidewalks and out of parks.

“I love riding my bike,” Selbee-koch said, “but often down here its very busy with pedestrians, so bikes and pedestrians don’t really mix well on the sidewalks.” 

Business owners say the ordinance will be especially helpful for events like First Friday Art Walks, and others hosted by NOTO.

“When we open our doors or just have people coming in and out of the shop bikers will zip and zig zag back and forth so for safety reasons we are in favor of the bike ban on the sidewalks,” Selbee-koch said.

For those that enjoy taking their time through NOTO, looking at murals and window shopping, this bike ordinance will make your shopping a little easier too, leaving more room on the sidewalk for pedestrians.