Enhancing traffic flow plays an important role in the traffic management of urban arterial networks. The policy of prohibiting left-turn (PLT) at selected highly demanded intersections has been adopted as an attempt to increase the efficiency at these intersections. In this paper, we study the impact of PLT by mathematical analysis and simulations based on the cellular automaton model. Using the flow-density relation, three system performance indexes are examined: the average trip completion rate, the average traffic flow, and the average velocity of vehicles. Different route guidance strategies, including the shortest path and the quickest path, are investigated. We show that when left turn is prohibited, vehicles are distributed more homogeneously in the road network, and the system performs better and reaches a higher capacity. We also derive a critical length of link, above which the benefit of PLT will decrease.