snavely wrote:... At least through 1968 there was a watchtower at the Bloomfield Ave. crossing. Probably lasted longer, but that was the last time I was by there...
My dad was frequenty the conductor of the Silver Lake Drill during the late 60s and 70s, and I went to work with him a few times down there. IIRC, electric crossing gates were installed on Bloomfield Ave by 1970, possibly earlier. But the crossing guards remained on a number of crossings until 1973 or 74. I remember this because when the EL removed them, the neighborhood went into an uproar led by the infamous Councilman Tony Imperiale. They blocked the crossings in protest and the old ladies threw tomatoes at the train.
My dad, as conductor, had to sign a complaint against Imperiale. They were all actually pretty good natured toward the train crew, realizing it was not their decision. In fact, at one point during the protest, their train was held "captive" at a crossing for a few hours, and the protesters had sandwiches and drinks delivered to the crew!
"But Dad. It's Smokey!"