How to Shorten Your Franklin TN Driving Commute: A Guide to Roads and Alternate Routes

Moving to a new place is a big change, and for new residents of Franklin, TN, getting around the area is much easier when they understand the roads and driving habits. Here's what to know.

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What to Know About Driving in Franklin

A charming city with an incredible history, Franklin, TN, has much to offer those living here. The town is just to the south of Nashville and a part of the Nashville Metro area. It has a historically charming downtown Main Street area with shops and family-owned businesses, and the thriving Franklin real estate market has everything from new construction homes to restored Victorian estates. For those thinking of moving to Franklin, it helps to understand getting around the city and commuting to Nashville. Keep reading to find tips on driving in Franklin.

Get to Know Your Major Roads in Franklin

Franklin, Tennessee, has several larger roads and highways nearby that often play a role in a person's daily commute. I-65 is the main highway in the area. It travels north to south and sits towards the eastern portion of the city. This is the route that most people take into Nashville if they need to go to work, catch a show, or go to a sporting event.

Below is a list of roads in Franklin:

  • Wilson Pike
  • Highway 96
  • Goose Creek Bypass
  • 3rd Avenue South
  • Columbia Avenue
  • Franklin Road
  • Mack Hatcher Parkway

The roads connect Franklin to numerous communities, many of which are within half an hour's drive as indicated by the outer blue line on the map below. Some like Brentwood are even closer, just about fifteen minutes away on the inner blue line.


The downtown area of the city centers along Carters Creek Pike, or Route 246. Franklin High School and area parks are off Hillsboro Road. Franklin Road has the highest likelihood of becoming congested, so it can be helpful to research alternative routes during rush hour. Another is Highway 96 between Eddy Lane and Main Street in Franklin. This area sees about 17,000 vehicles each day (it's only a 2-lane road). It's an essential commuting route into the city, so congestion and bottlenecks can occur during rush hour.

What to Expect Driving at Different Times of Day in Franklin

Franklin residents can expect some issues with traffic, especially if they need to travel into Nashville for work or other needs. Nashville's traffic can back up significantly from about 7 a.m. to 8:45/9 a.m. each morning and then again from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. each evening. That traffic flows south, directly to Franklin during those peak drive times. Traffic is significantly less in Franklin than it is in Nashville. The worst congestion is along I-24, I-65, and I-40 during these times. Commuting from Nashville to Franklin can take over an hour some days.

Within the city of Franklin itself, traffic is not as bad. Most often, traffic piles up near the high school and some other schools in the area during morning drop off and afternoon pickup. However, this may add just a few minutes to drive time.

To get to I-65, Franklin residents need to travel down Murfreesboro Road to get to the onramp if coming from the center of town. This road can become backed up on and off during the day, during rush hour times. The farther from this route, the less traffic congestion happens throughout the city.

Parking in Franklin

Parking in Franklin is typically abundant. However, the Downtown Franklin neighborhood has limited options. Additionally, parking in the downtown core of the city is restricted by time, and it is not possible to park on the main streets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. According to the city, this isn't the case on the weekends or holidays where parking restrictions are not enforced.

While there are restrictions, several parking options exist. First, two large parking garages are located in the area at 2nd Avenue South and 4th Avenue South. Each of these has 300 parking spaces to offer (including some with electric vehicle charging stations. There are also designated areas for bike and motorcycle parking here. In addition to this, there are a few privately owned parking lots throughout the downtown Franklin area. These may charge a fee for use. Others do not charge a fee but are meant for use by the patrons of that establishment.

Keep in mind that there are some restrictions on any available curb parking spaces in the city. Most have a strict two-hour parking limit in these areas. That helps ensure those who just need to stop by a location can get in and out quickly. The homes for sale in Downtown Franklin are highly popular among people looking to live in a walkable area.

Commute Times to Nearby Cities

Traveling throughout Franklin, Tennessee, may mean taking several thoroughfares. On average, the average one-way commute in Franklin is about 24.2 minutes. That is shorter than the national average of 26.4 minutes. About 80 percent of people drive their car alone to and from work or school each day. Only about 0.2 percent of people use mass transit of any this area. For those who are likely to travel out of the city to one of the nearby other towns, consider the following common drivetimes.

Franklin to Downtown Nashville

Traveling from Franklin to the Nashville community is a standard process. Many people living in the city commute to work in Nashville. This route takes about 30 minutes when travel is average. It's about 22 miles down I-65 North. That's the most direct route into Nashville, but it is also a good option for those traveling to the city of Brentwood, which is just to the north of Franklin. Brentwood is about right in the middle of the two cities. Most people in Franklin need to take Route 96 to get from the downtown Franklin area to I-65 N for this route. When there's traffic, this can back up to a 45 minute or more commute.

Franklin to Spring Hill

The Spring Hill community is located to the south of Franklin. It's a bit smaller, but there are numerous commercial areas here, along with parks and other things to do. There are a few routes to take to get to Spring Hill. The most common is right along I-65 S. This route takes about 26 minutes for average traffic. It is about a 20-mile course. Another option is to use US-31 S. This drive is slightly longer at 13 miles and can be completed in about 31 minutes. For those who don't want to use highways, it is possible to take Lewisburg Pike and US 31 S to get into Spring Hill. That takes longer at about 30 to 35 minutes, but it is 14.5 miles.

Franklin to Fairview

The trip from Franklin to the town of Fairview may be made for various reasons. Fairview is a smaller city, but there are often things to do there, including festivals and restaurants. The town is to the northwest of Franklin. To get there, the most direct route is along Route 96 W. This route doesn't generally get too backed up. It is about 18 miles in length. On average, it takes about 26 minutes to get from Franklin to Fairview, but there could be delays during busier times of the day (generally from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. due to schools letting out and people traveling home from work.)

Franklin to Murfreesboro

The Murfreesboro community is another larger town near Franklin. It is located to the east of Franklin but a good 30 miles from the center of the cities. The most direct route is along with I-840 E. This is about 38 miles in total and takes drivers along I-24 as well. Most of the time, this is the faster route, though due to less congestion. It takes about 45 minutes with average traffic. A second option is to use Route 96 E. This is about 29 miles, but it takes about 53 minutes due to traffic, including lights.

Franklin to Nolensville

The town of Nolensville is to the east of Franklin and a popular destination for shops, restaurants, visiting others, and parks. Getting there is an option along several routes. The main alternative is along Clovercroft Road, which also includes traveling along Wilson Pike. This route is about 14 miles and takes about 26 minutes in average traffic. Traveling along Route 96 and Murfreesboro Road is another option. This takes about 27 to 28 minutes to complete. It's about 13 miles. A third option is to use Split Log Road. This route is about 13.5 miles and takes about 27 minutes.

Franklin to Lewisburg

To the south of Franklin is Lewisburg. This is a larger city and home to various activities, restaurants, shops, and medical centers. The most common and fastest route to take is along I-65 S. This is about 40 miles away and takes about 46 minutes to reach. However, that can increase during peak drive times, often doubling. It's also possible to reach the area along Lewisburg Pike and Route 272 S. It will take over 54 minutes and about 38 miles this way.

Franklin to Gallatin

The Gallatin community is a larger city located North of Nashville and Franklin. Hendersonville is one of the stops along the way to Gallatin. Hendersonville is about a 50-minute drive from Franklin. Getting to Gallatin takes longer, about 1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the route and time of the day. I-65 N and Route 386 N are the typical options here.

Franklin to Shelbyville

Shelbyville is located to the southeast of Franklin. This larger city is about an hour away, depending on the day and the route selected. Generally, to get from Franklin to Shelbyville, people need to use US 41A -S to get there. This route takes just over an hour. It's about 43 miles. Another option is with I-840 E and US 41A-S. That takes about the same time but requires 49 miles of travel.

Other Helpful Things to Know

For those traveling throughout Franklin and the surrounding area, it helps to have a good idea of road conditions. It is essential to know that the City of Franklin provides snow removal. That means that vehicles should not be parked on the roadways during the winter months to clear the street for salt trucks. Most larger city roads are salted and plowed as frequently as possible. Not all side streets get the same level of attention. In more significant weather events, it may take some time for roadways to get cleaned up. In wet weather, some of these streets have water that pools and drivers should exercise additional caution.

The Road to Franklin Is Wide Open

For those who may be thinking about a move to Franklin, TN, it helps to have a good feel of the lay of the land. This community has a wide range of options to offer, from condos and townhomes to beautiful luxury homes. It is also the ideal place to find parks and entertainment while still being close enough to Nashville to take in all of the city's many amenities. New residents will be please to discover that driving in Franklin is easy to get used to.

Does Franklin sound like the perfect place to live? Contact The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage with Nashville's MLS at (615) 603-3602 to get in touch with Franklin real estate agents who can help you find the ideal Franklin home.


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