Aren't these things just going to blow the snow on top of people's cars?
No. What will happen is Vancouver will ban curbside parking during a snow event. But given the size of Vancouver side streets I don't get why they have one of those. All you could hope to do is cut a swath down the middle of a street. And really get to what? Half of the side streets?
In Kitimat they have a fleet of something like 10 of those things for a town that ever maxed out a population of 12,000. The town is planned with Cul-de-Sacs and cresent streets. A grader startes at the top of a crecent and around the cul-de-sac then back up the other side of the cresent. Shortly behind that comes the snow blower and it blows the snow onto the lawns on the street.
They also have a fleet of close to 20 sidewalk tractors that can be outfitted with a plow blade or a snow blower attachment depending on how much snow fell overnight. Once they clear a side walk shortly behind it will come a pick-up truck and spread a salt/sand mix. Keep in mind there is almost double the amount of sidewalk in this town KM wise than road. But during the winter some of the sidewalks don't get cleared. Like the one behind my parents house. X-country skiing just out your back door!
They also have about 10 of those big plow/sand trucks for the major streets. No town on earth clears more snow.