I just came across a wonderfully detailed and thought-out blog post on the blog Images of Centretown, outlining where and how Bronson Avenue fails as a bike route, and what could be done to fix it. The author is involved in the Rescue Bronson project: and to be sure, Bronson is in need of rescue.
I often find myself on Bronson because it's a direct route to Chinatown and the west end of downtown: one of my regular climbing partners lives on Bronson, and if I'm heading to Sushi 88, Raw Sugar, Umi Cafe or the Shanghai Restaurant, it makes sense - given that I'm not that squeamish about major roads - to take Heron down to Bronson, cross the river above Carleton, and then brave Bronson the rest of the way downtown. It's also a good place to hook up with Carling if I'm on the way to Westboro or Hintonburg.
But I understand that my tendency to stick to major automobile routes is a strange one. If I had any actual sense, I'd work out ways to get north/south in Ottawa without being stuck on Bank or Bronson. In particular, trying to take Bronson downtown is a terrifying experience: there's a bike lane past Carleton where the traffic often hits speeds of 100 km/h, but it vanishes as you enter the Glebe, depositing you on a narrow, fast road with some of the most abysmal pavement in the city. From there on in, it's a nightmare, the worst point of which is probably the underpass at the Queensway, where you're stuck in a dark, rotten-asphalt corridor underneath the highway, hemmed in by concrete and a little too close to the highway on-ramp.
The suggestions and observations in this blog post make a lot of sense to me. Putting Bronson on a 'road diet' might be step one: decent pavement might be another: but making it more intuitive, and easier, to take one of the side roads, such as Percy, should also be a serious consideration.