Boston ranks as one of the safest metropolitan areas for pedestrians, according to a national report released yesterday.

The study by Transportation for America ranked Boston as the second-safest urban area out of 52 for those on foot or in a wheelchair, behind only Minneapolis-St. Paul. This, despite a 21 percent increase in pedestrian-related accidents in Boston between 2006 and 2008.

“It is pretty surprising,” said Allston resident Rachel Bareiss, 20, who had a friend hit by a car last week on Massachusetts Avenue. “Enough has happened to my friends that I wouldn’t call it safe.”

Boston ranks well based on two factors. Its workers walk to work more than all cities other than New York, yet the city’s pedestrian death rate of 1.07 per 100,000 people is among the lowest on the list.

One issue of concern in Massachusetts is the high number of fatalities of older residents. There are 3.18 pedestrian deaths among the 100,000 residents 65 and older, eighth-highest in the country, the report said.

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