Like many cities, Boston encourages bicycling as an alternative mode of transportation that’s good for one’s health and for the environment. To help encourage bike-riding, cities must implement bike-friendly features such as bike lanes and racks. The Boston Cyclists Union helps make that city conducive to bicycling and Molly Haughey ’12 spent the summer as an intern there, writing articles for the organization’s newsletter and creating an informational video about the Union.
Her internship was supported by the George ’78 and Martha Darcy Internship Support Fund, which the Career Center awards to students seeking internships in communications, writing, advertising/public relations, publishing, print journalism or telecommunications.
As a writer for the Union’s newsletter, Haughey covered such topics as how “BU Bikes,” a Boston University undergraduate-run cycling group, has shifted in focus from advocacy to fun biking events. Haughey investigated the effect that the changes within this group had on cyclists throughout Boston. For the video project that she worked on, she compiled an informational source that will serve to demonstrate what needs to be done to encourage biking and suggest how the city of Boston can go about improving conditions. Haughey collected testimonials and stories from cyclists at farmers markets about how people experience biking in this city.
Haughey’s other responsibilities included updating the Union’s Facebook accounts with cycling news. She also edited the organization’s newsletter and contributd to the publication with news and pictures from farmers markets.
Though the Boston Cyclists Union was founded only a year ago, the organization already has nearly 4,000 people on its mailing list, making it one of the biggest cycling groups in Boston. The Union, which was founded by long-time cycling enthusiast Pete Stidman, aims to improve cycling conditions around Boston to promote this beneficial and healthy activity.
The organization has already worked with the city to bring in many new bike lanes, bike racks and cyclepaths. In addition, the Union provides free bike tune-ups and sells subsidized helmets at farmers markets. As the U.S. faces growing obesity rates, the Boston Cyclists Union is promoting a healthful activity that also helps curb the environmental damage from motor vehicles.
Haughey’s interest in the Boston Cyclists Union stemmed from her personal love of bike riding, which she engages in around campus and at home. Furthermore, the internship’s creative aspects related to her creative writing major and cinema and new media studies minor. Haughey realizes how important the medium of video is to transmitting information; that's one reason she enjoyed putting together the informational video. She says, “I’m confident that this internship will improve my filming and writing skills, and I’m excited about being a part of a movement that will make roads safer for everyone.”
In her free time, Haughey enjoys writing, biking, exploring new places and attending local concerts. On campus, she is a WHCL radio DJ.
Cycling can make a powerful impact on a community. However, to gain the maximum possible benefits from cycling it is important that cities accommodate cyclists’ needs to ensure their safety. Haughey’s work with the Boston Cyclists Union allowed her to improve conditions for cyclists while exploring her own academic interests.
Molly Haughey is a graduate of East Longmeadow High School (Mass.)