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Groceries for a large, young family

We need to ensure the cities of the future meet the mobility needs of different size households.

Photo of Paul Froehlich
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We homeschool our five children. The children are too young to be left at home by themselves. Going grocery shopping, going to church, or really going anywhere involves six or seven people in a vehicle of at least minivan size. We fill up the van with groceries at least once weekly... I mean FULL of people + carseats + groceries. There is no way we could do this practically with rideshare as it currently exists or mass transit. Can you imagine a parent trying to wrangle five young children plus an overflowing cartful of groceries on a bus? And we cannot afford a trustworthy babysitter for five young children every time my wife goes shopping (while I work long hours). I worry that when people plan cities/mobility for the future they are not thinking about families like ours... If families don't continue to use our own private vehicle then we will need a different solution tailored to us, much like the public restrooms designed for families to use together which are a GODSEND. Thank you for listening.

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Photo of Ahmad Shreidi

Hey Paul! I'm a facilitator here with the City:One challenge. Thank you for this incredibly insightful contribution.

Sounds like even super parents such as you and your wife need a hand sometimes. We would like to invite you to tell us more about your family's mobility and what other accommodation you require living in Austin. And expand on how you and your wife manage daily!

Thanks!

Photo of Paul Froehlich

To be honest I live closer to Seattle, I just saw this City of Tomorrow as an opportunity to put this point out there. I see many cities looking for ways to get away from the gridlock of many people, each with their own car. And I agree the current system is unsustainable. But when my brother thought it was good that Seattle was taking away lanes of conventional traffic and restricting them to buses, I told him -- yes that makes sense from your point of view, but don't you realize it means that it will be that much harder for me to take my family into Seattle? I have driven my family in Zurich and actually Geneva was the worst, basically impossible, and I understand that is by design. I don't know what the solution is but all the solutions I hear about these days seem designed for the average millennial family that has 0-2 children. One idea I have is self-driving car carriers in a "park n ride" on the outskirts of the city so that you can just load the family minivan onto one of them and continue on your journey with all your sleeping children in their carseats, snacks, changes of clothes, blankies and soft toys, musical instruments, Scout patrol flags... You get the idea.

Photo of Ahmad Shreidi

Hey Paul, even though you live in Seattle you brought forward really good points that need to be considered by city leaders nationwide.

Thank you!

Photo of Sam Lillie

Hi Paul,

My co-founder, Mark, has this same problem when he goes grocery shopping-- he has 4 kids. It's one of the reasons he joined me as co-founder to create Vinder. We are currently in Austin,TX but we are working on this exact issue and hope to be able to bring it to Seattle. Soon, you'll be able to buy direct from the farmers market and have it delivered right to your door.

If you read this, would you be willing to reach out to me? I'd love to talk with you. My email is: Sam@vinder.com

Thanks!

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