This comes after a struggling downtown commerical district has decided to relax the rules, and the development of other Mega-mall developments such as San Jose Marketplace, the Plant, @First, Santana Row, and now the Almaden Ranch Retail Center. With existing traffic conditions, large volume of strip and mall retail, and the proposed expansion of what is had been limited access expressway, traffic congestion will be expected to increase as traffic safety decreases. Unlike any other expressway (except for maybe Capitol Expressway) Almaden falls somewhere between a road and a street but possessing the benefits of either. For a great talk on the inefficiencies and costs of building roads that have the characteristics of streets check out Chuck Mahron's talk at a recent TEDx event.
The amount of existing and proposed retail is evident in the map below with a Walmart also due to come online. Retail acerage is shown in green. Just prior to the announcement to build Almaden Ranch, Santa Clara County had announced is is currently expanding the Almaden Expressway shown in red from six lanes to eight lanes with the addition of bike lanes and pedestrian improvements.
Now cyclists, imagine riding alone an eight lane expressway with traffic zipping by you at 45 - 50 mph. In fact this portion of the roadway will have more capacity than State Freeway 87 which in this area only has six lanes. So cyclists would you ride on Almaden Expressway to do you shopping at one of the many Mega-Malls?
View Traditional Business Districts vs. Big Box in a larger map