Sunday, November 12, 2023

San Jose's bike-sharing program is expanding with 650 new e-bikes 🚲

By the end of this year, San Jose will increase their number of e-bikes by close to 60%. San Jose has gone to great lengths to make biking safer in San Jose over the past several years: increasing the number of dedicated bike lanes, creating protected bike lanes, and improving trails. This will help more people utilize the new infrastructure without having to haul their bikes with them or worry about them getting stolen.

San Jose will also get 21 new docking stations, which also charge the bikes. The good news doesn't end there. Annual memberships to the bikeshare program will drop from $169 to $150 and per-minute usage charges are dropping from 20 cents to 15 cents. In 2024 there will also be a discounted membership for college students. For low-income San Joseans, the membership cost is only $5 for the first year and $5/mo after that. 

It's the least expensive way to get around the Downtown San Jose area besides walking.

Source: SVBJ

San Jose Downtown Ice prepares for busy skating season starting Nov 17

Downtown Ice is back this year with one of the most unique ice rinks in the US. You can skate on two concentric circles surrounding palm trees across from San Jose's famous Christmas in the Park event. It officially starts on November 17th with a grand opening celebration on November 20th. For all of the details, the full press release is below.

SAN JOSE – San Jose Downtown Ice opens Nov. 17 for families from throughout the Bay Area who have made ice skating at the iconic rink a holiday tradition.

“This is Downtown Ice’s 26th season since its debut in 1994,” said Alex Stettinski, CEO of event partner San Jose Downtown Association.  “Children whose parents took them to skate downtown years ago are now moms and dads bringing their kids to enjoy our rink and all that downtown San Jose has to offer during the holidays.”

The circular rink located in and around the Circle of Palms plaza at 120 S Market St. will be open daily through Jan. 15. Ninety-minute sessions will occur every two hours.  Tickets can be purchased online at


Special Ice, the largest operator of seasonal outdoor rinks in California, will produce this year’s skating experience.

“Downtown Ice is an iconic event that leaves a lasting impression,” said Emery Lykins, president of Special Ice.  “We’re excited to be a part of the rink’s history, to contribute to this amazing city and hopefully usher in a revitalized future for the rink.”

Downtown Ice organizers hope for a second consecutive season of local and out-of-town guests surpassing pre-pandemic levels of 2019.  A recent report shows that the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is downtown San Jose’s busiest, with almost 20 percent of last year’s 2.8 million visitors to the center city spending several hours within a three-block radius of the ice rink.  

Downtown Ice is nestled in the Circle of Palms plaza between the San Jose Museum of Art and the Signia by Hilton San Jose hotel.  The rink will join the rejuvenated Christmas in the Park displays as well as the popular Winter Wonderland amusement rides in the center of downtown’s major seasonal attractions.

Adding to downtown San Jose’s vibrancy and appeal as a weekend destination during the season are stage performances including two versions of The Nutcracker, concerts, Sharks hockey, museums and galleries, restaurants and shopping. Visit for events and downtown details, and for parking information.

Downtown Ice has exciting skating promotions planned this season including:

  • Sunday Show Tunes, presented by Broadway San Jose, where skaters can vote for their favorite Broadway songs; 

  • Learn-to-Skate sessions;

  • Family Skate packages; 

  • The Grinch will be at the rink from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Nov. 25 to greet skaters and promote Broadway San Jose’s Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas - The Musical in town Nov. 28-Dec. 3; 

  • The Ice Queens will entertain skaters Dec. 8 with a  performance, meet-and-greet and photo opportunity; 

  • Signia by Hilton offers a Shopping and Champagne package for stays between Nov. 17 and Dec. 31 that includes two tickets to Downtown Ice; round-trip transportation with Lyft to Westfield Valley Fair; and a Bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne.


In addition, check for a limited number of special $10 tickets for Opening Day Nov. 17 and the Grand Opening Celebration Nov. 20.  On both days, skaters are encouraged to look their best or be in costume for possible social media and television news coverage. The Opening Celebration at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20 features emcees  Sandra Cervantes from Telemundo 48 and NBC Bay Area's Mike Inouye.

San Jose Downtown Ice sponsors include Jay Paul Co., Kaiser Permanente, Creekside Socials, Adobe, Broadway San Jose, City of San Jose Environmental Services Department, San Jose Earthquakes, LS Power Grid, NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48.  The City of San Jose funds the event as well.

“It takes a lot of support and work behind the scenes to build and operate this rink, but it’s so worth it when you see the laughter of the kids and the joyful moments and memories shared by all the families,” said Lykens, whose business also has Northern California rinks this winter in Walnut Creek, San Ramon and Folsom .


Event Snapshot

San Jose Downtown Ice - Nov. 17, 2023-Jan. 15, 2024 

Downtown Ice is a traditional seasonal event for families and friends who twirl and skate amid concentric circles of 32 palms, under a canopy of stars on an iconic skating rink in the heart of downtown San Jose’s biggest attractions.

Information and tickets :

Direct ticket link:


Hours:  90-minute sessions start every 2 hours: 11 a.m.; 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m.

  • Open 11 am - 9 pm from November 17 - December 15

  • Open 11 am -11 pm from December 16 - January 1 (9 p.m. session added)

  • Open 11 am - 9 pm from January 2 - January 15

Location: 120 S. Market St., Downtown San Jose – between the San Jose Museum of Art and Signia by Hilton San Jose

Opening Celebration: Monday, November 20; 5:30 p.m.

Co-Emcees:  Sandra Cervantes from Telemundo 48 and NBC Bay Area's Mike Inouye 

Saturday, November 11, 2023

San Jose ranked as the #1 most innovative metro in the US

San Jose and the San Jose metro (the true definition of Silicon Valley) have become synonymous with innovation. One of the ways we can gauge this is by the number of patents filed in each region. In this metric, San Jose completely crushes any other metro in the US with 9,798 patents filed last year. NYC came in second with 6,275 patents and San Francisco got the bronze with 4,919 patents. That is already extremely impressive. But that's not the whole story...

The San Jose metro has a population of 2 million people. NYC, the runner up, has a population of almost 20 million people (!!!). So despite having 10% of the population, San Jose still filed more patents than an area more populous than most States. Even when you look at our neighbors up North, the SF Metro includes Oakland and Alameda County and has a total population of 4.6 million. So again, despite being less than half the size we filed double the patents as the SF metro. This is a key reason why the US Patent Office decided to open a satellite location in San Jose, not San Francisco.

Make no mistake, we are still the innovation capital of the world by far.

Top 25 Most Innovative US Metros (Patents Filed)

  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (9,798)
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (6,275)
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA (4,919)
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (3,773)
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (2,091)
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH (1,798)
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, VA (1,489)
  • San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA (1,190)
  • Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI (896)
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA (812)
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (770)
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL (761)
  • Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX (626)
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE (532)
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (499)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (453)
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC (404)
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN (321)
  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY (315)
  • Raleigh-Cary, NC (289)
  • Bloomington, IL (282)
  • Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO (265)
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA (238)
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT (235)
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ (185)

  • Source: Bay Area Inno

    Friday, November 10, 2023

    Markers Market in the Park at Santana Row on Nov 11th

    Tomorrow Santana Row is hosting a "Makers Market" featuring local entrepreneurs. Items for sale include jewelry, organic body products, candles, plants, home goods, apparel, glass, and even some CBD products. The best part is you can sip & stroll at the Makers Market. Grab your favorite cocktail to-go from Zazil, El Jardin, EMC Seafood (great Old Fashioned), Left Bank Brasserie, or Vintage Wine Bar and you can take it with you as you browse and shop between Olin Ave. and Olsen Dr.

    The event is kid and fur baby friendly and runs from 11am-6pm tomorrow (Saturday, Nov 11th).

    Thursday, November 9, 2023

    San Jose's 105th Annual Veteran's Day Parade this Weekend (largest in Northern California)

    Each year since 1918 the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County has hosted a Veterans Day Parade with the support of the City of San Jose. This year the ceremony will begin on Saturday, November 11th at 10:45am at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. 

    The parade itself starts at noon and will go from the SAP Center along Santa Clara Street, turn on Market towards Plaza de Cesar Chavez and end at San Carlos Street. For more information, head over here.

    Wednesday, November 8, 2023

    San Jose's Frontier Village Remnants

    Did you know San Jose once had a Western-themed theme park that opened in the 1960s? A Palo Alto entrepreneur built Frontier Village for $2 million after being inspired at Disneyland. It was built on about 60 acres near Hayes Mansion.

    Some of the highlights were staged gunfights, saloons, and several rides including a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, railroad, canoe rides, and horse-drawn carriages. An expansion was planned in 1977, but neighbors complained and the San Jose City Council denied the plans. Unfortunately, due to this and further competition from Marriott's Great America the park closed in 1980.

    However, you can find all sorts of remnants and tributes for the theme park at Edenvale Garden Park across from Hayes Mansion. This includes five scale buildings placed where their original structures were and a play structure that is themed after the park's railroad. Next time you are visiting Hayes Mansion, it's worth a detour to check out the park and see how many references you can find related to a shuttered theme park.

    Source: SJtoday

    Tuesday, November 7, 2023

    Communications Hill expanding again with Phases 3 and 4

    Communications Hill is a large master planned neighborhood in Central San Jose. It already has thousands of single family and multi-family homes and is famous for "the stairs," a unique urban hike with 252 stepps. (last two images below).

    New development permits are seeking the construction of an additional 800+ multi-family units and commercial space in a site bound by Altino Boulevard, Hillsdale, and the Union Pacific railroad. KB Home South Bay would be the developer and it would span 140 acres.

    Phases 3 and 4 of Communications Hill are supposed to include a mix of single-family detached homes, townhouses, and flats. The current scope of the project would include 505 homes, hundreds of apartment's across several five and six-story buildings, up to 32,873 of commercial/retail space, and 16,215 SQFT of amenity space.

    There is already quite a bit of traffic along 87 due to Communication Hill so it will be interesting to see how well the expansion can be accommodated.

    Source: SF YIMBY

    Monday, November 6, 2023

    Urban Catalyst moving forward with two high-rise residential towers near San Jose City Hall, updates plans and renders

    One of Downtown San Jose's most ambitious developers and proponents has acquired the final puzzle piece needed to built its two towers named Echo and Icon. They purchased a parking lot on North Fourth Street across from Miro that completes the space necessary for their project. 

    Echo is a 27-story residential tower with 415 homes. Icon was supposed to be a 22-story office building, but given the state of the market they are planning to convert it to a 26-story residential tower with 650 units instead.

    Below are the updated renders envisioning Icon as a residential tower as opposed to office. Icon is the tower on the left bordering Santa Clara Street. It would replace a space previously used as a gas station along Downtown San Jose's main street.

    There is no estimated timeline, but I hope Echo and Icon come sooner rather than later. Injecting over 1,000 homes into the central part of Downtown San Jose with easy access to transit (including a future BART station) would help accelerate its transition to a thriving 24x7 urban center. 

    Source: SVBJSF YIMBY

    Previous Renders: