Street Sweeping –  Fines, Parking Tickets, and More

Street Sweeping –  Is It Contributing to Parking Wars?

street sweeping ASP - sweeping.comHave you ever seen the TV show “Parking Wars”? It’s a popular show on cable TV.   

During the show, a camera crew follows parking enforcement personnel on their daily rounds and films their interactions with people who have received parking tickets from them.

The show is very entertaining because most of the time these interactions are very volatile. Sometimes the police are called. More often than not there’s a lot of yelling and cursing.

Well, the street sweeper companies rely on something called alternate side parking to get the job done.  This is where the conflict arises.

If you live in the city you’re very familiar with alternate side parking.   These are regulations that require car owners to move their cars from one side of the street to the other so the street can be cleaned.

In this article we’ll talk a bit about alternate side parking, street sweeping, and how to avoid those pesky fines and parking tickets.

Street Sweeping and Alternate Side Parking (ASP)

Almost all the larger cities in New Jersey require alternate side parking for street sweeping. 

Cities such as Jersey City, Bayonne, Secaucus, New Brunswick and others conduct regular street sweeping.  These cities need streets to be free from parked cars in order for the sweeper vehicles to do their jobs effectively.

Most of the Cities do post signs identifying which days alternate side parking is in effect. However, as with many street signs, they’re either confusing or people don’t pay attention to them.

Even without signs most largest cities assume that if you live in a city you know all about alternate side parking. Claiming you were not aware of the alternate side parking schedule won’t get you out of a parking ticket in any larger city. it just doesn’t work.

What’s interesting however, is that many smaller municipalities also require alternate side parking for street sweeping. Smaller communities such as Rutherford, Belleville, Garfield and others now conduct regular street sweeping.

These smaller municipalities generally do not post signs and rely on their websites and neighborhood “word of mouth” in order to communicate the sweeping schedule.

It’s just as likely to get a ticket in a smaller town as you would a larger city

Street Sweeping – Parking Fines For Not Moving Your Car

New York City is known as having one of the most frequent street sweeping schedules of any city in the nation. New York city conducts street sweeping twice a week.

Most cities do not conduct street sweeping this frequently. Smaller cities average twice a month (although it might be more depending whether the city is a transit hub like Jersey City or Secaucus)

The smaller cities still place the responsibility ASP schedule on the resident and will ticket cars they believe are in violation of the policy.

In New York City and alternate side parking violation can cost as much as $65 depending upon the Boro!   In 2016, NYC collected $440 million In street sweeping parking violations!

Smaller municipalities charge fines from $15 to $35.   Although the smaller municipalities don’t make nearly as much in violation fines as New York City, a fine still represent a source of revenue and help offset taxes (which makes the municipality residents very happy)

Street Sweeping –  How to Avoid Parking Fines

If you live in the city, just talk to your neighbors.   They are probably already well aware of the alternate side parking rules.   Some of them have probably paid some of these fines.

You can also go to the city’s website and navigate to the public works page where they’ll have the schedule posted.

In smaller municipalities, the neighbors may not be aware of the street sweeping schedule, especially if they park in their own driveways.

Most municipalities also have a website, so you’ll usually find the street sweeping schedule on that website.

If you can’t find the municipalities website, take a ride over to the City Hall and stop by the clerk’s office, they’ll be able to provide the information you need.

Need more information?  Here’s a simple yet effective article with some additional tips from Forbes magazine on “How To Avoid Getting a Parking Ticket”.

C & L Services –  providing a public service

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been sweeping and servicing cities, municipalities and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include parking lot sweepingmunicipal sweepingconstruction sweeping, and garage scrubbing.

We can help you keep your community in excellent condition with reliable, dependable, cost-effective services. If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to speak with a professional about effective street sweeping.

Street Sweeping – Ready for Action

sweeping fleet - sweeping.com

Street Sweeping – More Power, Advanced Technology

street sweeping spring cleaning - sweeping.comThe spring season is upon us and smart urban dwellers across the country are getting ready (C & L included!)  If you have not made plans on how best to save money while keeping your outdoor environment clean and hygienic, it is not too late…but you must begin now.

We are proud to announce we are ready for the spring season with a new fleet of street sweeping equipment that is more powerful and technologically advanced.

We have set the quality bar very high over the years and we have swept city streets all over New Jersey, but we’ll be raising it even higher this coming spring.

The latest C&L Services equipment for municipal streets is the first stop for these powerful sweepers.

Street Sweeping – C&L has always been the best, what will change?

We are a well-qualified, experienced, and passionate company with a team of staff that love what we do. Our streets are getting more traffic and that there are man-made and nature-generated waste on our urban environments every day. It gets more challenging each day for professional companies to maintain quality street sweeping services on budget and continue to deliver top-notch quality and timely service because they rely on similar methods and equipment.

Have a look at the variety of trash and debris that we pickup everyday with our street sweeping services.

The challenge grows each day for professional companies to maintain quality street sweeping services on budget and continue to deliver top-notch quality and timely service.

The newly updated fleet of street sweepers we will be using boast more power which translates to more thorough and faster cleaning even on high traffic surfaces.

The technology these machines run on ensures that these powerful engines perform with low emissions and greater power while using less gas.

This makes these machines especially effective in cleaning public areas such as shopping centers, municipal streets, private community’s and businesses and even corporate office parks.

Street Cleaning – More Efficiency for Lower Cost

For our clients, the new fleet will help us offer our dependable street sweeping services more efficiently. The streets will stay cleaner for longer as the new fleet of machines will spend less time sweeping compared to the older machines. The sweepers not only require less mechanical input from the operator but also boast of new spectacular color scheme graphics that represent the passion we at C&L have for clean and beautiful streets.

This spring, enjoy the benefits of specialized equipment executing specialized sweeping strategies.

Street Cleaning – More Than A Job To Do

At C&L Service, we do not consider street sweeping a basic operation that is simply driving a truck with fancy accessories over the street surface.

Our experienced cleaners determine the cleaning requirements for individual streets then use the right equipment and sweeping strategy to produce the best results.

We have invested in the best equipment because we believe in our capacity to clean any type and amount of debris in every weather condition and better equipment simply means happier customers for us.

This spring, rely on us to ensure that your streets and other paved surfaces are maintained in a clean, healthy, and safe condition despite the pollution and activity that comes with the season.

Give us a call at 732-886-1940 if you’re ready for action with your street sweeping.

Municipal Street Sweeping: Why Townships Rely Upon A Professional Street Sweeping Company for Their Yearly Springtime Clean-Ups

Municipal Street Sweeping – A Clean Town is a Happy Town

municipal street sweeping - sweeping.comTown councils, municipal administrators, and township staff all want happy residents. At no time is this more noticeable than at the beginning of spring. One quick way of guaranteeing this is by street sweeping to keep the neighborhood clean and safe.

The return of spring usually reveals the dirt, debris, and salt which has accumulated on town roads during the winter months. This usually leaves streets, sidewalks, and parking lots looking dirty and unattractive. To residents, an unattractive town is a source of irritation.

However, the concerns of residents are not the only things town authorities have to worry about. There are also environmental laws that require compliance on a regular basis. Cleaning up the streets is part of regulatory compliance.

This is precisely why towns and municipals schedule street sweeping as part of their yearly springtime clean-ups. The big challenge that authorities face is finding an experienced company to provide professional street sweeping services.

Municipal Street Sweeping – Keeping Costs Down Makes a Happy Town

As with all customers, municipals need a company which can provide professional street sweeping services at an affordable cost. This company needs to have the equipment, personnel, and resources for providing top-notch sweeping services. Above all, it should have the experience and capability of providing their services on the scale required by municipal authorities.

One company which has all these qualities is C & L Services. Renowned for providing superior cleaning services, C & L is the perfect provider of street sweeping for municipalities in New Jersey.

For starters, C & L is conveniently located in Central New Jersey. This provides quick access to most of New Jersey’s major highways. C & L Services can easily access most areas of the state and respond to municipalities within a short time. Basically, C & L can deploy to the communities that need street sweeping services without the slightest delay.

Municipal Street Sweeping – Avoiding Inconvenience Makes a Happy Town

C & L Services also has a new fleet of street sweepers. This means that we can deploy to multiple locations simultaneously. This makes life easy for municipalities which want to restore numerous neighborhoods at the same time. We can deploy our crews to different locations, and coordinate the efforts to clean up those neighborhoods.

C & L has a host of equipment for cleaning various kinds of surfaces to varying degrees. We can asphalt, concrete, porous, gravel, and many others. This means that we can easily clean up street surfaces, sidewalks, parking lots, municipal routes, and expressways. Beyond just sweeping surfaces, we can clean up and unclog nearby drainage channels.

Finally, C & L Services has the expertise and personnel to provide the best cleaning services possible. All our cleaners are highly trained professionals who are passionate about their work. We delight in delivering quality results and restoring a sense of hygiene and pride to neighborhoods and communities.

Municipal Street Sweeping – C & L Services Helps Create Happy Towns

If you are a town council member who is dedicated to restoring cleanliness to your neighborhoods during the springtime clean-up, C & L Services can get the job done. We can offer you the professional street cleaning services which you deserve at costs you can afford.

The best part about C & L Services is our services are environmentally friendly. Our street sweeping is carried out with eco-friendly equipment, techniques, and detergents. Therefore, we can help you to comply with environmental laws in a way that will satisfy the law and the town residents.

To find out more about C & L municipal street cleaning services, give us a call at 732-886-1940.  We’ll be glad discuss your needs and demonstrate our expertise in with municipal street sweeping.

Street Sweeping During Winter: The Importance of Removing Salt

street sweeping salt removal - sweeping.comStreet Sweeping as a Safety Strategy

Over 70 percent of Americans have to deal with the nasty cold weather that comes with winter.

Although the snow and ice may look beautiful in pictures during the warmer months of the year, they present the most difficult conditions to travel in and require a great deal of manpower and materials to manage.

One of the most common materials used for snow and ice management is salt (also known as sodium chloride).  22 million tons of sodium chloride or road salt is dumped on paved surfaces to manage the ice by lowering its melting point.

However, using salt on roads, sidewalks, and other surfaces has its downsides.

Why Street Sweeping is crucial for salt removal

Using salt for snow and ice management during winter ultimately damages roads and other surfaces that get contaminated by salt.

Salt is one of the most basic naturally occurring chemicals that life needs to thrive.  While it is the cheapest and most practical way for us to manage winter ice, ice has one a serious effect on surfaces.
Because it is caustic, it can cause the breakdown of other materials in nature, including substances that we use to pave road surfaces, parking lot stripping and even interior floors.

Removing salt with street sweeping helps minimize the caustic effects of road salt.

Can Salt Contribute to the formation of Potholes?

Salt can speed up the appearance of potholes and makes existing deterioration on roads worse in certain situations. The salt itself used do not cause potholes, however it can contribute to the decreased life of the road.

It does this by exaggerating the freeze-thaw cycles at lower temperatures because of its property to keep water in liquid form even at very low temperatures.

Salt is a compound made up of two chemicals — sodium and chlorine. Sodium is a very corrosive element that will damage a wide range of substances that we use in interior and exterior surfaces, especially wood floors.

Chlorine, on the other hand, has a serious effect on parking lot stripping if the salt is allowed to accumulate on the stripping, causing the polymers in the stripe to dissolve.

Here’s one of our videos that explain some of the less obvious impacts of salt, debris and particulates on exterior and interior surfaces:

Street sweeping – the best approach to remove salt

When the winter season passes, it is imperative that we mitigate the effects of salt on roads, interior floors, parking lots, and even our cars by removing it.

Street sweeping is the ideal process that can clean away salt that has accumulated on surfaces during winter.

Removing salt is important not only because it will preserve paved surfaces, it also saves the environment by reducing the salt that could be washed on to plant areas and water catchment areas.

Municipalities employ street sweeping that uses the latest and most efficient equipment to remove as much salt from the roads, parking lots, and pavements as possible.

If you have a road, walkway, or sidewalk that you care for, take some time to implement a plan for professional street sweeping.

The goal is to clean away the salt left over from the winter, preserve the paved surfaces, stripes, and floors and save money in the long run.

Need a salt removal plan? Call us at 732-886-1940. We’re professionals in all types of street, parking lot, and garage deck cleaning. Sorry, we don’t don’t floors but can provide you with excellent street sweeping.

Street Sweeping: How Urban Renewal is Accelerating C & L Services Growth

Street Sweeping – Critical for Urban Growth

street sweeping urban renewal - sweeping.comThe first successful urban renewal was carried out on the Devil’s Acre slum in Westminster, England in 1889.

Social reformers, philanthropists, and municipalities have discovered the amazing benefits of restructuring the urban characters of densely populated areas of the city as a tool to spur and accelerate growth.

The rapid and ever-subjective industrialization around the world has forced many areas around cities to become cramped as vital services are shared by more people than originally planned.

C & L Services is at the forefront of driving change to help people in urban areas live in healthy environments through professional street sweeping services. The company, founded on a mission to improve the quality of life within the municipalities it serves, has been at the forefront of driving supporting the environment for urban renewal projects.

Street Sweeping and Development of Urban Growth

The rapid development of urban centers in New Jersey demands a company with a team of passionate conservationists with state-of-the-art equipment.  This company will provide the sanitary needs of thousands of new residents and entrepreneurs that urban renewal projects attract each year. C & L Services provides more than just street sweeping but a comprehensive list of services to maintain municipalities and comply with stringent EPA requirements. C & L enjoyed accelerated growth by providing required services in these rejuvenated urban environments.

C & L Services has also won awards for dedication to environmental conservation and the quality of services offered. It is no secret that C & L Services is a top choice for all the municipalities that they serve. C & L’s services are particularly invaluable in these times of urban improvement and rehabilitation – when old and run-down buildings are refurbished or replaced with modern buildings and housing.

Emerging neighborhoods also find the seasoned street sweeping companies such as C & L up to the task of maintaining properties and cleanliness levels that strengthen the confidence that the people have in their living environment and municipal leaders.

Street Sweeping – Helping Attract Investment

Considering that urban renewal in the US is often meant to persuade individuals to come live within the city and for companies and entrepreneurs to invest capital in previously neglected areas, C & L is proud to be a part of this renewal process. Our continued growth is a result of the long-term positive prospects for continuing urban renewal all over New Jersey.

Even now as the cost of commuting rises and the cost of land higher than ever, the shift of people moving toward urban centers to cut costs and enjoy greater convenience has encouraged us to think of more creative ways to tackle renewal challenges.

Street Sweeping – Continuing Importance To Urban Renewal Growth

Urbanization is just over a century old, and with the way cities are flourishing with life, urban settlements will just keep getting denser and denser. Street sweeping services are going to enjoy continuous demand.

Municipalities are making huge investments in renewal projects as well as in population support infrastructure and services including expansion of health services and amenities.  C & L Services is properly equipped and prepared to improve the quality of lives of the people whose rejuvenated city settlements we clean.

Have questions or comments?  Call us at 732-886-1940 or leaves us a comment below.  We’re serious about our commitment to urban renewal and how we support growth through street sweeping.

Street Sweeping: The Top Five Reasons to Trust Your Street Sweeper

Street Sweeping – More Than Meets The Eye

street sweeping trust - sweeping.comBeautiful neighborhoods, clean streets, and hygienic public spaces are only a part of the reason why street sweeping deserves respect.

Most people do not realize it, but street sweepers do a lot more than just sweep dirt and debris; their work goes a long way to protect water resources, prevent floods, make roads passable by clearing the junk that blocks water drainages, and generally remove pollutants that could damage the health and well-being of the community.

Click here to look at all the different types of stuff street sweepers pick up.

Street Sweeping – A Time Honored Occupation

While most people do not give much thought to street sweepers, they have been around for hundreds of years…almost as long as organized human settlements have existed.  Street sweeping is now considered necessary for present-day waste disposal and has become a part of modern culture.

Street sweepers stand out in the work they do because it is obvious when streets are not clean and the normal debris of modern life piles up. Street sweeping professionals are trusted to do their job well and are often expected to go the extra mile to work when the rest of the city is asleep.

Here are the top five reasons why you should trust them:

1. Street sweepers are dedicated to their work
Since the street sweeping industry has embraced education, street sweeping has grown to become a profession with industry associations and professional certification.

Your local street sweeper is a member of a group of professionals focused on improving the quality of work they do. Street sweeping is more of a calling than just a job.

2. Street sweepers have the right tools for the job
Advancement in technology has provided street sweepers with many benefits. Today, Professionals in this industry use cutting-edge technologies and equipment. Street sweepers apply their professional expertise to remove all types of dirt and debris as well as potentially harmful contaminants and pollutants.

This is economically smart because it gets the job done right, fast and cost effectively.

3. Street sweepers improve the environment
Our cities and neighborhoods would be unsightly—perhaps unhealthy were it not for the work street sweepers do. Their primary job is to sweep debris and litter and dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulations and guidelines in place that guide street sweepers how to collect and dispose of all types of potentially harmful trash to protect the community.

4. Street sweeping maintains and improves the value of real estate
Perhaps the most noticeable benefit that street sweepers add to our world is improving and maintaining the value of real estate.

The curb appeal of a clean street without litter improves the perceived value of the properties in the neighborhood. Whether it is a city, town, or neighborhood, proper street sweeping boosts the value of property.

5. Street sweepers are a part of the community
Street sweeping is a profession that provides stable jobs to tens of thousands of people across the nation.

Most professionals in this industry specialize in a particular state or region and will often have roots to the community they serve. These professionals play an active role in contributing to the community both in and outside work.

Making the city or a neighborhood clean and habitable is everyone’s responsibility, but street sweepers make the most visible contribution to ensure this happens.

The next time you see a clean street, remember someone dedicated time and effort to make it that way.

Looking for a trusted street sweeping partner?  Please give us a call at 732-886-1940.  We’ll be glad to give you a quote and share out passion for street sweeping.

Street Sweeping – New Trends That Sweeps Streets Clean and Safe

Street Sweeping – Evolving to Higher Standards

street sweeping - sweeping.com
Flexibility, environmental sensitivity and well maintained equipment are in demand by clients

The street sweeping industry has become more competitive. With more professional street sweeping companies entering the industry, clients are demanding ever higher standards.

Have a look at the variety of new and different types of debris that needs to be “swept up”.

Any company which desires to remain competitive needs to keep in tune with the ever-changing customer expectations and demands. This requires paying attention to the emerging trends which are shaking up the industry.

Understanding the latest trends, and adjusting operational standards, practices or services accordingly is essential for any company which wants to remain competitive. Any company which ignores these trends does so at its own peril. So, what are the latest trends? Well, here’s a selection of that are getting the most attention in the industry.

Sreet Sweeping Trend 1 – Versatility in Service Delivery

The days when street sweepers simply swept streets are over. Nowadays, clients want companies which are versatile. This means that the companies can handle clearing any size of debris, at any scale, and under any condition. Versatility also means that street sweepers can provide services beyond merely sweeping streets. Among the extra services clients demand from street sweeping companies are portering, replacement and repairs.

To be versatile, a company needs to first of all invest in equipment which can handle various street sweeping and cleaning projects. It also means companies need to provide a variety of street cleaning services which stretch beyond sweeping. Finally, versatility means tapping into emerging technologies to enhance service delivery. For instance, forward-thinking companies now employ technologies like GPS and mobile apps to simplify resource allocation and coordination of their services.

Finally, versatility means tapping into emerging technologies to enhance service delivery. For instance, forward-thinking companies now employ technologies like GPS and mobile apps to simplify resource allocation and coordination of their services.

Street Sweeping Trend 2 – Flexibility with Communities

Having fixed working schedules may have been a virtue in the past, but not anymore. Clients nowadays want flexibility in cleaning schedules. They prefer companies which can schedule their cleaning operations in what is normally considered off hours. This includes, for instance, after 4 or 5PM on weekdays, or even on weekends.

Even as they desire flexibility in scheduling, clients expect minimum interference or inconvenience from the cleaning operations. For instance, they expect the cleaning equipment to be quiet enough not to bother them with irritating noises.

To be flexible, companies need to discuss with clients what their most convenient cleaning schedules are. They also need to invest in equipment which is as quiet as possible. Finally, they need to hire individuals who are willing to work beyond the standard 8 to 5.

Street Sweeping Trend 3 – Environmental Concerns

Most clients today are concerned about the environment. Specifically, they are concerned about their own carbon footprint. Many clients are now avoiding environmentally unfriendly cleaning services that contribute to environmental degradation.

Clients now prefer street sweeping companies which are eco-friendly. They expect companies to use cleaning chemicals which are biodegradable and safe for the environment. Companies need to place such standards into consideration when purchasing cleaning materials.

Street Sweeping Trend 4 – Professional Development

There was a time when street sweeping was considered menial work. Street sweepers were expected to have a basic education and not much commitment to the work. As such, clients did not expect more than basic street sweeping from their sweeping contractors. Well, not anymore. Clients are now raising their expectations of street sweepers. They expect them to be professionals with experience and committed to high levels of customer satisfaction. They are not willing to tolerate unprofessional conduct or mediocre performance.

To adapt, many street sweeping companies are now adopting professional standards for their staff and operators. This includes joining professional organizations, continuous education, and professional certification. Such companies are setting higher standards of conduct in the industry. Any company which wants to stay competitive needs to adopt similar standards.

In a nutshell, the street sweeping industry is changing rapidly – as new players enter the market, and client expectations continue to rise. To remain competitive, a company needs to pay attention to the emerging industry trends and alter their operations accordingly.

The latest trends which are sweeping through the industry include versatility in service delivery, flexibility with communities, environmental concerns, and professional development. Any street sweeping company which desires to remain competitive needs to adapt its policies, standards, and services according to these new realities.

If you’re looking for a street sweeping service that is dedicated to adopting the newest trends, give us a call at 732-886-1940.  We’ll be glad to talk with you about how we are raising the bar in street sweeping.

Municipal Street Sweeping – The Love-Hate Relationship Between The Public and Municipal Street Sweepers

Municipal Street Sweeping – A Necessary Service

municipal street sweeping - sweeping.comMunicipal street sweeping is a necessary service that every community must have to remove the debris brought about by everyday living. This service does a lot more than we appreciate — besides making the streets tidy and beautiful, street sweeping also helps control pests.

Municipal street sweeping also safeguards the environment by properly disposing of materials such as non-bio-degradable plastics and other types of non-degradable trash.  To get an idea of how much trash is picked up, here’s an article that details the mountain of debris, dirt, and trash encountered by the municipal street sweeping services.

To understand the passionate love-hate relationship between the public and the municipal street sweeping, in this post, we will focus on street sweeping.

Municipal Street Sweeping – What People Love about Street Sweepers

Life would be difficult in cities and urban areas if street sweepers had never been conceived. The safest and cleanest cities thrive because they have a workforce that regularly removes trash and debris from the streets and ensures that they are properly disposed of. Neighborhoods look great and very attractive because street sweepers take the time to clean out all the eyesores and litter.

If you live in a neighborhood with an efficient street cleaning service in place, you should never take it for granted because someone wakes up earlier than you to clean the streets on your behalf.

Neighborhoods look attractive because street sweepers take the time to clean out litter, debris, and accumulated dirt. If you live in a neighborhood with an efficient street cleaning service in place, don’t take it for granted because someone wakes up early to clean the streets for your benefit.

Cities and neighborhoods that are considered clean and livable often have municipal street sweepers working at all hours to ensure it is so. Homes in such neighborhoods enjoy higher market value because of enhanced curb appeal. Consistent street sweeping, coupled with effective environmental conservation, are a sought after criteria when evaluating the “livability” of a community.

Municipal Street Sweeping – What People Don’t Like So Much about Street Sweepers

While municipal street sweeping has its pros, this service is not devoid of cons. For starters, in many communities and cities, people have to park their cars on the street. Residents find it inconvenient to have to park their cars somewhere else during the street sweeping day. The inconvenience may seem inconsequential but considering the number of people affected, there is a lot of complaining.

No one ever likes to clean up after someone else, even the municipal street sweepers. It would be great if  no one litters.  If there were no litter, there would be no need to spend money on municipal street sweepers.

However, funding for the labor and equipment for municipal street sweeping comes from taxes and frankly, people are not fond of paying taxes. People do enjoy the fact that a municipality takes the responsibility to clean the streets, but no one likes paying taxes to meet the cost of this service.

Municipal Street Sweeping – A Boon To Society

Street sweepers are a vital part of the existence and normal operation of cities and urban neighborhoods; without them, organized urban societies would struggle with health and environmental challenges.  We need them and manage the pros and cons for what they do to keep our societies safe and functioning.

Looking to keep your community clean and looking good?  Call C & L Services at 732-886-1940 to discuss your needs for municipal street sweeping.