Decreasing total length of cycleways in German cities (highway=cycleway)


For a research project I downloaded OSM data for the 50 largest cities in Germany from the overpass API, selexcted only cycleways (highway=cycleway) and summed up their length.
Then I did the same with historical data (01.07.2017).

The result was that in many cities the total length decreased instead of (what I expected) increasing.

In another attempt I filtered for different types of cycleways (DE:Bicycle/Radverkehrsanlagen kartieren - OpenStreetMap Wiki) and the sum of all types of cycleways indeed increases from 2017 to 2023.

So my question ist, can it be that the tagging in 2017 was much more generic than today and and became more and more precise until today? Or do you see other reasons?

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