As usual, xkcd knocks it out of the park. Just as my wife; I’ve complained out this very thing several times before.
What troubles me is that, in all likelihood, a bunch of people must have sat around a table somewhere debating over the best way to lay these signs down on the pavement. On the one hand, I can kind of see their point — it would make some sort of sense that people would read the first word they come to. But it’s clear to me that someone neglected to adequately test this idea in a focus group or what-have-you because what they failed to consider is how deeply ingrained the Western proclivity is to read from top to bottom, left to right.
You’d think someone would have figured this out by now.