Can big screen television tame Bristol's notorious Bear Pit?
A BIG screen television for one of the most notorious parts of the city centre is one idea Bristol City Council wants to fund by selling off green spaces.
Council officers want to "look into the possibility of a technology hub" for the St James Barton roundabout – better known as the Bear Pit.
That could include a TV or projection screen which would be placed in the bottom left-hand corner of the pit as you look towards Stokes Croft, and electronic information points around the edges.
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This is despite the fact that a CCTV camera that covers the area was stolen during the summer.
The Bear Pit is used by hundreds of people every day, but mainly as a walk-through connecting Broadmead with the bottom of Stokes Croft, the bus station and the magistrates' court.
It is well known as a hot spot for public drinking, homelessness and the toilets and phone boxes suffer from vandalism.
Drug dealing has also been reported and many people avoid the area at night.
No specifics of cost of the size of the screen have been given, but the size of the space could mean something similar to the large TV in Millennium Square at Harbourside.
Other suggested improvements for the Bear Pit include better paving, seating and subway lighting to create a more pleasant atmosphere.
The area in the middle could be used for performance, a cafe, an ice rink or a market, council officers have said. The toilet blocks would be removed, along with the raised beds.
The officers' report states: "From the consultation undertaken to date it is clear that there is agreement on a pressing need to improve this key gateway space.
"The concept plan includes a range of ideas and is intended to stimulate discussion and debate."
A number of ideas have been put forward to smarten up the tatty square over the years.
In 2002, Bristol City Council looked at either covering over the subway for £4 million or carrying out a £2m refurbishment with cafes, shops and new public toilets.
In June, a taskforce was set up to look at what could be done with the area, involving the council, the police and Broadmead manager John Hirst.
During the summer, a local graffiti artist added a mural designed by young people to one of the walls, in a bid to brighten the area up.
The Bear Pit proposals are included in the Clifton and Cabot part of the green space plan, currently being consulted on by the council. To tell the council what you think, go to www.bristol. gov.uk/agsp.