San Jose gets a lot of flack for being sprawled out; however, based on two large scale studies of urban sprawl in the US it turns out we are not doing too shabby. In the Smart Growth America study, we were the 8th most compact and connect metro in the US with a population greater than 1 million people. In fact, we got higher index scores than Oakland and Chicago metros.
In another study entitled Urban Sprawl in the United States: 1970-2010, San Jose had a "sprawl score" of 21.04 in 1970, 16.5 in 1980, 16.33 in 1990, 15.25 in 2000, and 14.13 in 2010. Without really going into how the numbers were calculated, the conclusion is that sprawl decreased by a third over the past 40 years in San Jose. So the reality is that like LA, we are a lot more dense than the general perception.
Source: Smart Growth America, Hat tip to Russ Lopez fro sending this in!